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Full text of "Notes from our log in South Africa ; and, On foot through the colonies at the Paris Exhibition [microform]"

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j|otefi from Ijur |og in ^outlt Mica; 



A \ I) 



ON FOOT THROUGH THE COLONIES 



AT Tlir: I'ARls KXHIlilTION. 



\.\ 



HARRIET A. BOOMER, 

Authvy r/"0\ Trek in tiie Tkanswvai.." 



l-'onbon, (Dnt.: 

I'-KKK I'KKSS I'RIXTINC; COM I'AN V, RICHMOND iirKEliT. 



lS8o. 



42809 






INTRODUCTION. 



I cannot launcl.1 my tiny ban[Ue upon 
Oiinadian waters without a low introductory 
words to explain wliy 1 ;uii venturesome 
enoui;]i to launch it at all. First and foremost, 
then, must come mv excuse. I want monev ; 
indeed, T want a L;ood deal, t') enaljie me to 
carrv out an object verv dear tn mv heart, and 
one in v\hich many friends in Kngland, and in 
this, our London, have already sliown much 
kindly interest, viz. : the foundation of a 
Divinity Scholarship m our own Huron College 
here. The long vacation is close at hand, 
and in the few intervening months ^^'hich must 
elapse l}efore the next term opens, I hope by 
strenuous effort, and through the continued 
help of generous friends, to have so added to 
our little nest-egij of somewhat over SGOO tliat 
a fitting candidate may Ije selected to receive 
sume measure of assistance from it, awaiting 
tlie better time when the egg shall have pro- 



IV. 



TXTliODUCTIOX. 



diiced its iull-i,no\vn cliick, and Ihu Huron 
Scholarsliip .sliall have become ai) established 
fact and worth y ol' its name. 

When my " Notes " were pul)h'shed in TIi' 
Colonics ami I)u]ja. a vahiable paper only too 
scantily circulated in Canada, people knew 
com})arativel}' little of South African travel- 
lin,u', nor is much wn^vc now known of that far 
away settlement ol' the Transvaal, the Haupt 
Busch IJerg. I venture to think, then, that 
althouLih a fev\' vears have ehi])sed since my 
scribble Avas written, it may luiATSome measure 
of interest for tlio>e who m\x\ care to read it ibr 
the first time no\\-. Xor can 1 believe that while 
the rockv koitjes of South Africa still resound 
with the horrible din of that terrible war, and 
the dvino- cries of r»iir own dear countrymen 
are yet echoing (jver Bei*'' and A^eldt. or whde 
that sad-hearted woman, the vidowed mother 
of the late Prince Imperiid, is absent there 
upon her self-imposed, most melancholy pil- 
grimage, there an> mtm} who would to-day, as 
they mij^ht have done Ijefore all these things 
came to pass, throw aside as unreadable even 
so modest a little record as this of travel in 
the Transvaal 



I 



IXTIIODUCTION. 



V. 



One word more and 1 have done. 

To my Soiitli Airican Jottings, 1 cannot resist 
this opportunity of adding' a few more made 
M-liile in Paris at the Kxliihition of 1878. T 
choose, naturally, those entered in my note 
l)Ook wliilst in the Canadian Department of 
that great World's Sliow— a Department ar- 
ranged and filled so creditaldy tliat it carried 
off the palm from tliose of all otlier colonies. 

Perhaps this last entry may have a value for 
some of my friends who, although tliey might 
not care mucli for far-away, poor, distracted 
.S(Hith Africa, may yet huy my little book for 
the sake of giving my small vessel a friendly 
shove off the docks into smooth v.\aters, and 
thus help me and the object so dear to me, 
i. t\, the foundation of the Huron Scholarslii]^. 



HAPcEIET A. BOOMEPt. 



.*:.* 



NOTES FROM OUR LOG IN SOUTH AFRICA. 



A THIl' TO TIIK IfArri T.USCII liERC. 



••♦♦■ 



I 






• 



CItAITKK T. 

Ill'^IiE were live of us, all told, when the 
ijt. Ciiptaiu of our little party counted heads 
^^ before starting : lirowne senior, who is my 
brother, Urowne junior, who is his son and 
n\y nephe\\', Hetty Browne, who is myself, and 
an old college cliuni of niv brother's, who has 
knocked about with him iu many lands, and 
whose most undeserved nickname of "Grim" 
will serve our i»nrpose as well as his i)aternal 
one, which it does not in the least resemble. 
Lastly, the Captain, an old campaigner in fields 
of peace as well as war, whose geniality, fund of 
general and practical information, and never- 
failing flow of good humour, render him a 
charming companion anywhere, but more 
especially when, as now, he forms one of 
a free-and-easy party all bent upon taking the 
largest amount of pleasure from, and making 



8 



A Til 11' TO TIIK IlAUrT I'.USCII UKUC 



as li^lit iiH possilJe of, any littlo (li'a\vl)ack 
M'liicJi may arise to mav tlie ]Kii't'('ct ciijoynu'iit 
of tlie tri]) wo luul loiiLi; promised ourselves to 
the (lovernmeiit forests of tlie Transvaal. 
These forests, we had heen told, were well worth 
visitinii", and that having' already seen so much 
of South Africa under other as])ects, W(^ cer- 
tainly ouL»ht not to turn our faces homewards 
witliout l)eholding her undei' just one as})ect 
more. 

"Let me pioneer you to the Haupt iJusch 
riern," had said our Captain, "and your log shall 
tell of other things than hare iiats and treeless 
wastes, dry river-beds and stony ascents. Of 
the last the least said the better certainly ; your 
river-beds will l»e full enough and to spare 
when vou return to Natal a little hater in the 
year ; the l)are Hats only need tlni magic <^f 
man's la])Our, blessed as such labour is sure to 
be, especially on this fruitful soil, by bounteous 
old INlother Nature, to blossom as a garden ; 
and wlieii you have seen one of onr forest 
scenes you will retract what you remarked in 
page dash of your log — ( you see 1 know all 
about it, Mis Hetty) that she was " niggardly " 
in this one good gift, so needful to man's com- 
fort and well-being in any clime. Wood, yes, 
plenty of it. Come, and judge for yourselves." 

This, and talk kindred to it had led us to 
decide upon taking one more trip before we 
left the Transvaal, the promise of our Captain's 



I 



A TKIP TO Till' IIAIPT I'.USril WVMi'r. 



\) 



'k 



i^'uidanco iiinl coiupaiiioiislii]) liaviiiL;' turned the 
.scale ill favom* of our doin^ so. 

See us, tluui, WAidy \'ov our start tVnin tlie 
little luiuiui*" settlement <»r Mcrsteliu'j', iu the 
towusliip of Alarabasladt, ahout 150 miles From 
Pretoria, \vlii(;li had ix'eii Inr a while our tem- 
porary home. Our caini) liad lu'cn pitfdied not 
far from the shadow of the ''rand old Iron 
^Mountain, arouiul wliich the thunder liad 
growled so often and so threateningly, hcforo 
roUiuii- awav to <»rumhle elsewliere, to return 
anou to bestow upon us another touch of its 
spleen, yet not having liurt us one whit aft(!r all. 

'' Good-hye, old growler!" cried Geoff, our 
bftv, sliaking his list at it l>v way of parting 
salute. " i should Just a1)out like to have one 
mon; dive into your (^aves and hidinii' hohi.^!, 
to unearth some of th(^ mysteries of whi(di 
you hold the key. What about those bones 
and skulls, old chap, those signs and synd)ols 
indented ujxm your cavern walls ^ AVhat 
about " 

'' Geoff, don't rhapsodise," I exclaim from 
inside our l(S-feet-long canvas-covered house 
on wheels, " but hand me the bag of tea, the 
rusks, the butter, ( I wish we could get more of 
it!) the six tins of preserved milk, and the 
Brand's essence of beef." 

My brotl^er and Grim, his dear familiar, as 
we call him, have gone on wdth the dogs and 
our two surviving horses, hoping to have some- 



10 



A TRIP TO TlIK IlAUri BUSOH BERG. 



tiling ill their game-bags for us, even if tliey 
do not come across a buck, before we overtake 
tliem at oui lirst outspau at jNIarabastadt proper. 
I sav " their game-bau.s. " but if dear okl Grim's 
bag is full it is certain he will not have filled it 
himself, except he has done so with the precious 
lailbs of wliicli ho is so untiring a i>rubber. 
We liave a pleasant fiction that Grim could 
shoot anything he liked if he chose, but that 
he does not choose, he being tender of heart. 
Once in the stew-pan, Grim ceases to com- 
miserate its victims, and blessed as we all are, 
with a good ap})etite, enjoys his meal as heartily 
as if their fate had never cost him a thought. 

It was a lovely morning late in August, 1875, 
when we heard the last puff, pulf of the engine 
as it crushed the golden specks out of the 
quartz which the Kahrs were ceaselessly shov- 
elling into the greedy old mill as we passed it 
on our way out of the settlement. We rumlded 
by the shafts, with their busy workers above 
and below liround, and the st'~>ne-laden carts on 
their ^\'ay to the ^^■()rks ; and we startled the 
grou]> of tame ostriches placidly feeding around 
the last of the Katir-lmilt huts, occupied by 
the oiiplofjes on the estate, nothing coming 
amiss to their palate or injuring their powers 
of digestion. The sky was almost of a royal 
l)lue — not a cloud flecked it ; but as we rounded 
the kopje (koppy, or small hill), clouds we saw 
which arose from the earth, and warned us that 






A TRIP TO THE IIAUPT BU8('H liERC. 



11 



we were nearing- a grass fire, or rather the scene 
of where that element had been hohlino- liigh 
carnival just before. Enough remained to liave 
done us a mischief if the road liad been less 
beaten, or had the wind brought the reniainini;- 
flames straight towards us, instead of only 
crosswise, leaving us but a narrow belt at a 
time to get over. Tlie oxen plodded on with 
undisturbed tramp over the I turning ground, 
whilst the Kafir forelooper simply changed his 
action from the noiseless pad, pad of his naked 
feet upon the sandy track, to an almost graceful 
dance, as he, never losing his hold of the trek- 
tow, every now and again avoided l)y a boun(i 
a more angrv-lookin^- i)atcli of Idaze than anv 
winch had Idtherto checked liis course. "What 
jolly fellows those Kalirs arc 1" remarks Geoff, 
wiio admires pluck heartily wlierever he sees it, 
and who had before been struck with their 
seeming indifference to pain. " Why, tiie red- 
hot plough-share of the old trial by ordeal 
would be a joke to them ;"' 

The Captain, who has been busily employed 
meanwhile giving an extra toucli of polish to 
his faithful old rilie in the half ol' the waggon 
devoted to the use of the gentlemen by day, and 
partitioned ofl' from my sanctum by a canvas 
curtain removable at will, bids us draw it now 
and look over the heads of cur oxen for the 
first ]3eep at Marabastadt. " Do not expect too 
much, uood folks ; it is earlv times for the 



<« 



If 
If 



12 



A TRir TO THE ITAUPT JIUSCII BERG. 



Transvaal, and the so-called towns are eaeli 
but a nucleus of the cities they will certainly 
become by-and-by, especially if the longed-for 
annexation brincjs from Em-land that l)est of 
wealth — people — to cultivate her fruitful soil." 
^larabastadt certainly did not hjok very impos- 
ing as we entered it. Some six or eight houses 
— only one or two of any pretension whatever, 
one belonging to tlie landrost, or magistrate, 
and the otlier to a gentlemen from the (Jape, who 
had settled there as mercliant, land-owner, &c. 
— two or three stores, and a kind o*' round house 
or jail, form the whole town. Hei'e a tent and 
tliere a waggon, here a group of Kafir women 
thrashing out the corn after their primitive 
fashion upon tlie ground by tlie roadside, and 
there a herd of oxen and horses grazing under 
the side of the hill. These L>ave the life and 
colouring to it winch otherwise as a picture it 
would liave sorely needed. 

"Is it climate or people," I imjuire, " which 
one should blame for the sleepiness which 
pervades every little Dutch M)orp' one sees ?" 

"A little of both," I ain told, " with the stag- 
nation whicli naturally ensues from isolation 
and want of the stir excited by competition. 
Why, even our little cavalcade (our two riders 
having meanwhile joined us) will probably be 
the last, as it has been the hrst, to arrive for a 
whole week at least !" 

My brother gives the order to outspan — i.c.y 



' 



A TlilP TO TIIK HAUrX liUSCIl HKRd. 



.3 



unyoke our trusty oxen for a two hours' graze 
and rest, for we liave l)een fullv three hours on 
trek since we left our (quarters in tlie niornino-. 
Dick, oar driver, witli the aid of the young 
" Oomfan," a snuill Kafir who acts as odd johber 
and general servant, i)roceeds to the usual bus- 
iness of "cooking the kettle." I hunt out our 
stores from the large canvas pockets which line 
the waggon on either side, and wliat we do not 
diti'nifv by the name of a meal, but wliat is 
recognised amongst us as " a little feed," is in 
processs of preparation. We are to liave a 
feast bye-and-bye, for one game bag lias a corpu- 
leiu'c wbiich compensates for the leanness of its 
fellow, giving promise of a savoury niess, whilst 
the other has a rattle of ominous sound wliich 
mi<dit mean i)otatoes, but it is far more likelv 
that it means bulbs. 

We call upon the magistrate, wlio receives 
us very courteously, giving us some splendid 
orano'es. Tfiis is all the more u'enerous of Ijim, 
as they are now very nearly out of season. One 
or two specimens of the cotton plant and a 
branch of a twisted thorn creeper are added to 
my hoard of curiosities. So substantial is this 
creeper, and so large are the thorns which it 
bears, that the Dutch use it as we do hat-pegs 
in our halls. This one has a polish which I 
considered due to art until assured it was 
nature's own liandi\vork. 

One more trek brings us to our camping-place 



IC 






14 



A TRIP TO THE ITALTT lUJSClI HEKrj. 



for tlio niglit at an early liour. The tent is 
pitclied, the fire lighted, and the three-legged 
pot sinnners on the tire ; tootlisome is the 
.smell it watts towards iis. We do not st«}p to 
think whether the contents ] night have l)econie 
a trifle more tender l>v Ioniser hanjj.ini'' ; we are 
in no areat hurry, so we let tlie tire have its 
way witli them, assured that its way will be a 
good one, and thattlie tln-ee brace of partridges 
and tlie Koorhaan will have a sorry look al)out 
tliem ])resently. Our ])ot deserves mention, for 
it is an ini])rovement u}x»n tlie usual thing of 
its kind in use bv travellers in South x^frica. 
Our Captain lias fasli'^ned Ins "digester" (a. 
mucli more soundimi; uue tlian its original of 
Kaiir pot) so that tlie lid fits just tightly 
enough to exclude dust, whilst it admits air. 
It hangs underneath th.e waggon, where it 
would, lidless, be speedily full of sa]id and dirt; 
therefore, this improvement is of great value. 
After a meal, it the stew be not consumed, the 
remainder is left for next time, all and sundry 
being added thereto. *' Dishing up " is a refine- 
ment of life V e dispense with on trek, a large 
ladle supplying each plate as its hungry owner 
cries out for "more." Side by side or very near 

to it, is usually slung the water-barrel 

" i\[isbus," says Dick just at this juncture, " I 
think ^\■e forgot the water-barrel ! or else we 
]nust have dropped it in that nasty spruit we 
came througli this morning."' One would thiid\ 



A TRIP TO THE llAUPT BUSCH BERfl. 



15 



the " l^oy " knew that I was writing in my log 
about that barrel ! Yes, sure enough, there is 
no barrel, and Dick miglit almost as well have 
come away without his head as without tliat 
most indispensable article. The oxen often 
have to go a weary while without a drink; 
but bipeds who need water equally and can 
more easily provide for its supply, have only 
themselves to blame if they go thirsty. The 
water may frequently be hot and mnddy, but it 
is better than none, and ^\'llen presented to tlie 
parched lips in the shape of refreshing tea — 
warm or cold — or fragrant coU'ee, one thinks 
verv little of its oriu;ii)al shade, or of v.diat 
horrible things the in([uisitive microscope would 
surely reveal if permitted to meddle with it 
undiluted. A barrel is lent us at tlie farm close 
by, so to-morrow we can go on our way rejoic- 



ing. 



Wednesday. — A black paw hands me in 
througli the waggon curtain my early cup of 
delicious coffee while tlie oxen are being in- 
spanned. Geoff has shouted out to me "(iood- 
bye. Aunt Hetty, you can have another snooze 
in the wa^uon till breakfast time. We are off 
with our uuns. I dare sav we shall have the 
lire lighted and all ready for you by the time 
those fourteen old snails reach the camping- 
ground." And so they had; for they had not 
wandered far atield, and they had chosen for 
our resting-place a. very lovely spot, close by a 



IG 



A TIJTP TO Tin: HAITT IJUSCil P^EEC 



farm, with its garden and orange grove, pic- 
ture.s(|iu!ly situated 1)eneatli a large irregular 
"l)Oss"'* or kopje, a hill, all boulders of dazzliugly- 
white elear ([uartz. JJetween these l:>oulders 
grow lovely plants and heaths of every 
description, many like the tree trained over 
wire in our old lionie garden, bearing a red 
berrv, wlien tlie Hmver, a small lavender one, 
has died away, (rrim brings several specimens 
of flower and leaf ( Jeolf, who fancies he sees 
gold in every stone, de}>osits about a small wheel- 
j »arrow-full, or thereabouts, of them, by my side 
in a heap, expecting me " to stow them away 
somewhere ; " the Ca])ti\in brings a contribution 
of oranges and some large lemons; and my 
brother unslings liis qame-bau' witli an air of 
triumpli, for it contains a medley of victims 
wliirh liad l\dlen to his gun and tlie Captain's 
during their two hours' tran)]) soon after day- 
break. '^AVe came upon them down by the 
Mei (pronounced Flay), so it was almost a case 
of wholesale slaughter. We must not expect 
such luck every dav- Those dogs are first-rate, 
and Druno is learning his lessons splendidly. 
He'll beat his elders 1)efore long 1 " Brnno wags 
Lis tail furiously at the praise his master gives 
him, and there is not much doubt tliat if it was 
a hard time to-day for the poor, bonnie wild 
birds, whose lovely plumage he has somcAvhat 
mauled in his youthful eagerness, it will be a 
still harder time to-morrow. 



A TKIP TO THE HAUPT BUSCII BERG. 



17 



CHAPTEE 11. 

Our journey for many hours has alternated 
between hills and Hats. We saw constantly 
smoke and Hames in the distance, the high 
winds of the previous week having spread 
theni farther than the hand wdiicli started them 
had originally intended. This is one of the 
usual seasons for grass burning, the object of it 
being to procure good crops for the coming 
year. A wasteful enough plan it seems to be, 
but, under the present condition of things in 
this thinly populated country, the only one 
feasible. A great many burnings are occasioned 
bv carelessness, and even wilfulness, a Kafir 
loving a blaze, and not being particular how 
near lie may be to cultivated lands or home- 
steads when he creates one. His own liut, 
constructed as it is of such light materials, just 
twisted tM'io's and lono- coarse grass, often not 
even daubed over with mud, ma}^ burn down 
and lie does not waste a sigh over its ashes. 
His wives will soon fetcli Idm material for 
another, and his share of the reconstruction 
thereof will probably consist of a lazy w^atch- 
ing of their labour when lie is not either 
sleeping or snufHng. 

" House-building made easy, with a venge- 
ance," says my brother. " What a first-rate 



18 



A TKTP TO THE IIAUIT JaTSCII 15ERG. 



climate this is, when you are nearly as com- 
fortable without a roof over your liead as with 
one. Better, I tliink, for tliis roughing it and 
these constant drauuhts of Heaven's own pure 
air " 

" So long as you keep clear of the fever dis- 
tricts, old fellow/' unex])ectedly puts in Clrim, 
who, witli ills pickaxe ])y liis side and Ids 
puggaree-covered old felt tilted over his nose, 
lay at full lengtli seennngly asleep, hut wide 
enough awake to hear what we were saying. 

"I beg your pardon. Jack ; you were going 
to remind Miss Hetty how much the open-air 
life and this temperate climate have, thanks to 
their (liver, done for herself and Geoff, strength- 
ening their lungs (people at home shook their 
heads over them both, asserting prematurely 
that they had not a pair between them), and 
G'ivini'' them a new lease of life as it were. 
When I get back to England I shall advise 
every one I may meet Imving that premonitory 
symptom usually called a ' hacking cough/ to 
bring it out here and leave it here also. 
' When found, make a note of/ so, put that in 
the log, Miss Hetty." 

At 2 ]^. m. we outspanned by the farm of a 
Dutch Boer. We had planned a short stay 
only, but the fires around us, which seemed at 
a safe distance, came on at a gallop, making it 
evident that we must take precautions to save 
ourselves, our animals and waggon without 



A TRIP TO THE IIAUPT HUSCII UYAUi. 



19 



delay. Grim had as usual started off to explore, 
and it was while we were watcliing for liis 
reappearance at the foot of the Kopje, from 
behind whicli tlie fire was advancing'', that we 
perceiv^ed at wliat a startling pace it travelled 
US-ward. Our men rushed off to collect tlie 
oxen, which were peacefully gi'azing on the Hat, 
so soon to hecome a blackened mass. Tlie 
Dutchman's son and Kafirs went out to drive 
in their live stock, the horses coming at a canter, 
with their colts careerinu ijlavfully after their 
manner by their sides, Grim, with his little dog 
"Bo," bringing up the rear. 

A conscience prick reminds me that I have 
not introduced " Bo" to you before, an omission 
for which I cannot readily forgive myself. 
"Bo" is everybody's dog and pet, with his long- 
ears, softly speaking eyes, and ostrich feather 
of a tail, which curls somewhat saucily over 
his back, and to touch which he considers an 
impertinence. 

Picture us grouped around our temporary 
home, all who are classed under the head of 
able-bodied being actively employed. I am 
snuffed out as one not knowing her place on 
offering my services, so I retire in dudgeon to 
the shelter of the waggon, and console myself 
with telling you all about it. Some have sacks, 
some have boughs and bushes, indeed anything 
they can lay hold of, where wdth to beat down 
the flames they themselves have kindled within 



20 



A TRIP TO THE HAUPT UUSCII BEKd. 



a safe circle about our camp, so as to island 
us oft' from the bii»' recl-flariiifj sea whose fire 
waves threaten us on nearly every side. The 
birds are wheeling ovc^rhead, disturbed from 
their haunts, uttering weird cries, which have 
in til em more of rejoicing than of lament, for 
this is a rare harvest-time for them. As the 
snakes, lizards, and other creeping things flee 
Irom before the element they dread, the fowls 
of the air pounce upon them and make them 
their prey. Oh .' it is a grand sight ! Except 
just close to us, but near enough for their hot 
breath to fan cur cheeks, we are surrounded bv 
Hames. They come at a gallop, they come at a 
CTdwl ; now in a straight line, now in single 
file, as tlie inecjualities of the ground and the 
growth which covers it may determine, but 
wind-driven, eddv-chased ever. Some hu<:>e 
boulder, some thread of a running spruit, some 
small hillock checks them for a brief space, 
and then more flames " to the rescue," the 
boulder is leaped, the spruit laughed to scorn, 
the hillock surrounded, and tlie fire- demon 
reigns supreme. 

" Has it not reminded you of a cavalry 
charge, Miss Hetty ? " asks the Captain, as, 
panting with his exertion and grubby as any 
sweej), he joins me, followed by Jack and 
Grim. 



IC 



Gentlemen," I r 



nianv other things 



espon 
besides 



d, " it does, and of 



:;'* 



but I really can 



A TRIP TO THE IIALTT HUSCII BEKG. 



21 



discuss nothing with becoming gravity with 
either of you until — until — well, until you 
have washed yourselves ! Allow me to liand 
you the pewter basin and the soap and the 
towel. The kettle boiled without an effort on 
my part, and I have taken tlie li[)erty to add a 
little wasliing soda as an aid to cleanliness." 

My "chaff" is taken in good part by the 
trio, Jac-k only saying, as they carry olf the 
kettle and basin, *' 'Let those laugli wlio win,' 
cliild. If we had become less Idack, you might 
have been a very burnt and shrivelle<l-up Hetty 
indeed, by now." 

Whilst we had been surrounded by it the 
smoke had been hardly bearable ; our eyes had 
watered, and it was with ditficulty that wo 
avoided inlialing the particles of burnt grass 
wdiich w^ere wliisked about furiously by th(i 
wdnd. Poor little V>o had looked up at me with 
his pretty speaking eyes, streaming with tears, 
as were my own, and with a reproachful expres- 
sion, as much as to say, '' How could you be so 
unkind as to give me this extremely unpleasant 
sensation." Up to the last possible moment he 
had ])ee?i. enjoying great sport, chasing the 
escaping frog, lizard, &c.; but his romps had 
been ruthlessly cut short at his first personal 
contact with the fire itself. His bark had died 
away into a dismal howl as he limped to me 
for protection, with damaged paw, singed tail, 
and the depressed and dejected air of a 



22 



A Tiur To Tin: iiaui'T r.uscni heik;. 



dog who IkkI certniiily got tlie worst of it. 

We iiispaniied wliuii tliu lo.ad was sulliciently 
clear to admit of our making a start, ami 
travelled for hours over tlie Inirnt ground, 
frecjuently crossing still burning patches ; 
w hich seemed to have been set alight as by an 
at'terthought wlieu tlui more pressing business 
oF the fire-kino's messengers liad been accom- 
])lished. For miles and miles we could see 
flames, the liorizon aglow everywhere. The 
grass is so dry that it catches lire instantane- 
ously, but buins itself out so rapidly that 
mimosa trees and even nnieh smaller shrubs 
escape with only a scorching. 

Two of the [)arty rode on to select a camping 
})lace, and \\e found all ready for us as we 
huubered up to oui' (piarters for the night. Tlie 
bare br<»ad track separated us from tlie enemy's 
l)roadsides ; the wind favored our position, and 
their amumnition was, so to speak, well nigh 
spent, but enougli remained to keep both sides 
on tlie nlert. " How liobgoblinish we look, 
don't we ? " enquires Geoff of the party gen- 
erally, and indeed not only do we look weird 
and uncanny, but so do our surroundings. The 
very oxen, as they lie each in its place, fastened 
as usual to the trek-tow (or chain), taking no 
notice of wind-howls or liame, and placidly 
chewing the cud before dropping off to sleep, 
seem twice their size, and tlieir horns, as they 
clatter them together every now and again, 



A TIlIl* TO TIIK IIAUI'T JiU.SUII HEliri. 



0*1 



a])])ii{ii' iilrnost nuniueiii*^'. Tho grim and gaunt 
FAiphorbias, with their odd ghostlike arms, luive 
a come-near-me-if-you-dare air enough tochiunt 
the timid soul, but they have for (feolf and me a 
kind of faseiniition of which neitlier is ashanunl, 
as we confide to one another the fancies which 
possess us, and tell one anotlier of what we 
have seen witli our mental eyes during the titful 
silences into which we lapse. 

"Good night, Geoll';' 1 say. "My thoughts 
have travelled Lack to the dear old home. 
Don't break the spell, old boy, I want to carry 
it to roost with nie, that J may have; ha])py 
dreams, and forget that I am in South iVfrica 
for just one little while." 

" That is odd, Auntie ; I have been at home 
too for full five minutes, and I want to stop 
there as nmch as you do. I'll just hel]) you to 
tundile up into your perch and hand you the 
lantern, and then I'll turn in, as 1 see JJad and 
Grim have done already. Tlie nu^n have done 
so long ago, and tlie Captain, 1 know, only 
wants to see all safe to follow their example. 
Good night." 






CHAPTER III. 

Thursday. — Who does not know the cliill 
feeling which creeps over the senses on visiting 
at day dawn the scene of a last night's merry- 



24 



A TRIP TO THE HAUPT PUSCH BERG. 



P 



!' 



> 



II 



makiiifr, whether of ball or of banquet, or of 
the mistletoe-crowned, holly-decked hall of the 
laro'e family gatlierino- ? Wliat a glamour had 
come from the lights alone I Half of the fun 
and the ri])])ling laughter it gave birth to had 
been owing to the warm encouragement tliey 
gave, as tliey ..lade bright eyes brigliter, and 
merry hearts merrier 

"At it alreadv, vou dear old scribbler?" 
cries my ])oy, peeping over my shoulder. 
'' Well, it is liard to come down from the clouds 
to this work-a-day world again, I must confess, 
and such a black and cinderv wilderness of a 
world as this is, too. T believe we really were 
in Wonderland last night, Auntie, and that this 
is some sort of a penalty for trespassing there ; 
but Dick must hurry u]^ those laz}' cattle, to 
get us out of this dismal old hole, and into 
soniethinu' more worth looking" at. Hulloah ! 
what is he up to ? we're off the track ; " and 
he leaps over the tail-l)oard of the vraggon, Bo 
after him, to join the beckoning figures in the 
distance, whose signals had caused our driver 
to change his course. 

Grim had, as usual, started off for what is 
termed amongst us his " preliminary canter/' 
and the Captain and Jack had gone \\ith horses, 
dogs and guns in search of game, yesterday's 
fire having been a sad spoil-sport. One of them 
had just shot a fine " riet-bok," or reed buck, 
and the waggon was wanted to come and fetch 



IT 



mmmmmmBmm 



A TRIP TO THE HAUPT liUSCH BERd. 



25 



it. It was an animal of fair size, weiuhina' 
about 85 or 90 lbs., fawn coloured, and about 
34 inches high. Its horns were ringed at their 
base with a circular curve towards their tip. 
The Captain told us that it was not so swift as 
many of its near rekitions, and tliat it had an 
absurd habit of scpiatting until the hunter gets 
so near tliat it becomes an easy prey. 

"What a duffer:" says Geoff ;^" but it is 
good Ibr us that this specimen was no wiser 
than its fello^vs, for I have a notion that the 
Digester liad nothing to speak of left in it when 
I took my last dip last night, and unless I get 
those two pheasants lUuno and Turk are put- 
ting up at this very moment we'll be vn short 
commons ere lono." 

The Ca})tain's shot had l>roaght down the 
birds before Geoff could get near tliem, thouuli 
he was off like an arrow IVom the bow ; but it 
was with full hands he joined us at our next 
outspan, under the lee of a grand iiigged-look- 
ing kopje, overgrown between its massive bould- 
ers with vegetation of every kind, from huge 
trees to the tiniest fern. Opposite it, witli a 
large plain between, was its twin brother, oi. 
the same granite formation, and clothed ])y 
mother Nature in garments of the same shade 
of colouring, and after the same bountiful man- 
ner. Altogether, the scenery through which 
we have passed for the last two or three hours 
has been very lovely, tropical as it is bound to 



(1 



26 



A TKIP TO TilK IIAUPT LUSCH BERG. 



I) ; 



1)6, and therefore C|uaint and unliomelike. Aloes 
are plentiful, and so are the eupliorljias, with 
their fleshy branches turned upwards, bearing 
an odd resemblance to candelabras, the candles 
of which it would certainly puzzle any one to 
light, so fenced around are the sockets (to carry 
out the metaphor) with what has the appear- 
ance of bristles. A milky-white poisonous 
juice exudes from the euphorbia tribe gener- 
ally, which it is ascertained can be turned to 
useful account, as it takes the consistence of an 
india-rubber-like gum. The lvafir-l)oom, with 
a scarlet bloom on its leafless bouohs, caught 
my eyes every here and there, the foliage fol- 
lowing, instead of preceding, the flower, as do 
other trees and tioweririii shrubs in South 
Africa. At first I imagined some large red bird 
had settled on the gnarled-looking, dark-barked 
tree, or that some balloon of crimson silk had, 
all ribanded and torn, ^^'eary with its long llight 
from other lands, come to a pitiful ending in 
tliese ^vilds ; but, as we neared first one and 
tlien another, I could almost count the large, 
long flowers ^^'hich formed the clusters, and 
recognized thai it was only another wonder 
upon which, my eyes had lighted, and w^hich it 
required but a little longer experience to make me 
thorougldy and heartily admire. The sugar- 
busch, fig, mimosa, cacti, orchids on the ground 
and up in the trees. How- er after flower, tree after 
tree, shrub after shrub. Grim brings me speci- 



T 



A TRIP TO THE HAUPT BUSCH BERG. 2 / 

mens, seeds, bulbs, &c., some of wliich will 
reach England safely, I hope. How gay our 
sln^ubberies would look if even some few of 
these productions which grow so profusely liere 
could be prevailed upon to live undei* our 
cloudy skies at liome ! 

" Do you see tliat gorgeous plant yonder, 
Grim ? " says the Captain. " That is the Gi'eya- 
Sutherlandi, so called after Sir George Grey and 
Dr. Sutherland, of Xatal, wdiicli lias only just 
bloomed in England at the Duke of Sutherland's, 
oddlv enough after having failed at Kew." 

Grim started on his hobby, carries off the 
Captain with him, and the pair get soon beyond 
our reach. I try to follow at a humble distance, 
hoping to glean a crumb or two of real know- 
ledge about the natural products of tlie couritry 
^vorth transcribing in my log. Wlien they speak 
of the Arduinia grandiflora, I have not at first 
the least notion that they mean the Natal j^lum, 
with its shining, polished leaves, and large 
white stars of fragrant blossoms, or that it 
belongs to the Apocynaceous family of plants. 

(" I defy you to spell that," whispers Geoff.) 

" All succulent plants which yield a milky 
juice are called by the Dutch Milkbosch, and 
the Cinchonaceous family, which comprises over 
2,000 species, is largely represented in South 
Africa." 

" JFhat kind of family may that be with the 
long surname ? " I modestly ask. 



|[ 



i> 



Iff 



i: 



w^ 



T 



28 



A TRIP TO THE IIAUPT ]iUSCH BERG. 



i i!i! 



'IJ 



"A var;t variety, amongst them — ipecacuanha, 
quinine, Jesuit's bark, and coffee — claim it as 
theirs, many of them bearing flowers of great 
beauty. Then there are the scaiiet Loranthus 
or the South African mistletoe, the repulsive 
Stapelia or Carrion Hower, which attracts flies 
bv its most (lisai»Teea]jle odour, and which is 
looked upon with intense disgust and almost 
loathin^^, and yet wliich lias i>r(^at interest for 
the true lover and learner of Nature, and the 
cucurbitacecO (gourds, Miss Hett},) are in many 
varieties likewise. You are not likely to forget 
the tliorned mimosa, Grim." . . . Here Bo, who 
had been lazily snapping at Hies and basking 
in the sun, set up a howl of such appealing 
pathos that we all gazed at him in terror, 
Geoff's being of a quality so exaggerated that 
I, who knew him so well, scented mischief, the 
others creditiiiu' Bo witli a rarer iutellio'eiice 
and instinct than dog e^er possessed before. 
" Nor is Bo likely to forget it either," said Grim. 
"The very name inspin^s him with terror, you 
see, ever since he was so cruelly impaled on 
that terrible 'wait-a-bit' or 'wagt eiii Ijeetji,' as 
tlie Dutch liave it: he gives a wide berth to any 
of its kind, as, indeed, do bigger beasts tlian 
himself We who rescued him have scars to 
show n()\\', and Miss Hettv had a hard time of 
it with her needle and thread tliat day." 

" Besides the mimosa trees with spikes, witli 
hooks, and with straight spear-like thorns, 



A TRIP TO THE HAUPT BUSCII BKK(i. 



29 



-) 



there is the sickle thorn," continued tlie Captain, 
" which actually cuts sharply as any knife into 
the animal's very skin." 

At this juncture Dick's voice announces that 
our meal awaits us, and an uncommonly good 
one it is, though Mrs. Glasse, Mrs. Eundell, or 
even Soyer liimself would have been aghast 
had they seen the variety whicli formed its 
component parts. " I. believe," said Grim, with 
the serio-comic look which improves him so 
much, '*if we did not keep a sharp look-out 
\^'hen Dick and Oomfan are preparing our stew 
they would pop in fur, feathers, and all ; and 
what is more, that we should eat them too with 
our ever-ready appetites. I must say they 
have outshone themselves to-day, or is it tliat I 
am even hunorier than usual ? Ve^etaldes also. 
What a large onion ! " A ghastly pallor over- 
S[)read his face, as after a second's contempla- 
tion (tf the seeming vegetable he gasped, " Not 
anotlier mouthful, for your lives. It is my 
Ha:^manthus, a bulb of deadly poison. How 
could it — liowever could it have got into the 
pot ? " " Calm yourself, Grim, and go on witli 
your dinners," quoth tlie C^aptain. " Blame 
your near sight for the unnecessary alarm. It 
is not the poison bulb you take it for, but that 
of tbe true lily, which is perfectly innocuous, 
though I should be sorry to recommend it as a 
pot-flavourer to any one." 

Grim looked so disconcerted and Geoff so 



Ji- 
ll 



•t 



At 

i b 



I 



V 



I 



30 



A TRIP TO THE HAUPT P.USCII BERG. 



repeiitiint that I rejoiced when Jack — whose 
thouglits liad been elsewhere and thus had 
fortunately taken no note of wliat had passed 
— started a suLJect of conversation without any 
touch of apropos to it, i.e., some of the odd 
customs of the Dutch of South Africa. " Dick 
has been telling me," lie remarked, " of a curi- 
ous ijroof of filial atiection shown bv a son to 
his father, with wliicli tlie latter was highly 
pleased, viz., the gift of the planks needful for 
his coffin whenever the old gentleman should 
require one. T]ie idea seems ghastly ! " " At 
first sight I grant it does," answered our 
Captain, " but it is not without some reason 
and excuse, and after all, ' Evil be to him that 
evil thinketh.' " We are now nearing the large 
forests of the Transvaal, and find it more 
difficult to realize the many inconveniences 
occasioned by lack of timber, than when we 
were traversing tho^e long weary miles of veldt 
with its far-apart homesteads and treeless 
"wastes. The Dutch nearly always keep coffin 
planks ready for tlie emergency which comes 
to all alike, and T do not think their equal 
spirits are in the least affected, nor their 
appetites lessened Ijy the knowledge that the 
solid rafters overhead of their "fore-huis" or 
living room, support the wherewithal to build 
them that other house they will certainly need 
some day. The gift is no mean one either, for 
distance and the difficulties of transit make 



A TRIP TO THE IIAUPT BUSCII BER(.;. 



ol 



wood very costly. To offer to purchase of a 
Boer any of these specially reserved planks is 
almost deemed an insult, wldcli onlv vour 
ignorance of the customs of Ids people could 
excuse ; but liere come the cattle, and Dick 
will want to inspan, so I vote we lend a hand 
to j\[iss Hetty and then talce to our saddles, 
that we may more speedily seek out a. good 
camping ground at the Haupt iJusch Berg, 
which we shall reach at our next outsnan." 



It 

ii! 

!»■ 
It 

: 1 



II. 



CHAPTER lY. 

At 2 p. ni. we reach the Wood Busli Village, 
the last settlement in the Transvaal, in whicli, 
except for a short time in each year, it is safe 
for the white man to live. It verges closelv on 
the tsetse-fly region so destructive to cattle. I 
had heard so much of the death-dealing power 
of this insect pest, that I was astonished when 
the Captain told me how small it was as to 
actual size. "Hardly more than half an inch 
long, Miss Hetty, but almost always fatal to the 
beast, however large it may be, which it attacks. 
I have seen its poor victim with drooping ears, 
watering eyes, and swelled tliroat, pinJng away 
gradually, succumbing to the poison in its 
system at last, even if a certain tenacity of life 
which some animals, like some people, possess 






i 



32 



A TRIP TO THE IIAUPT BUSCil liEKC. 



'I 



111 



in greater degree than others, enables it to con- 
tinue the struggle from weeks into months. At 
first it eats ravenously, hut only for a while. 
Appetite once gone, kindly death soon comes 
to its rescue. Its very skin is found punctured 
if removed from its fieshless bones afterwards. 
Horses and oxen which have survived this 
blood poisoning, as well as those which liave 
survived the other diseases of the country, are 
called ' salted,' and rise immensely in value in 
consequence. We are on the safe side where 
we are now, but a little fartlier on we sliould 
assuredly lose every animal we have. The 
hunting grounds of tlie tsetse are well known 
fortunately, and the increase of population will 
do much towards their extinction hereabouts, 
for tliey follow tlie larger game mostly, and as 
civilization drives the latter farther afield, so 
will tlieir foes go with them. There is one 
peculiarity by which this llv can be recognised. 

it/*/ U CD 

It folds it wings one over the other, making the 
two look like one. The Delagoa Bay route is 
closed, fur the present at least, by the prevalence 
of tliese obnoxious little creatures, for man is 
too dependent upon liis animals on trek to risk 
bringing them througli a belt of country infested 
by them, however little x»ower they may have 
to injure himself" 

The village is beautifully situated on a well- 
w^ooded hill, the vallev and surrounding hills 
being dotted abijut Ijy the huts, tents, waggons. 



A TJUP TO THE lIAbTT BUSCTI BERG. 






and houses of the residents, temporary or other- 
'wise. The sun is too hot for nie to venture out 
of tlie shade, so I scribble lazily with my back 
against the waggon-wheel, while Dick lights 
the tire, puts up the tent, and Oonifan busies 
himself over minor preparations for our coming 
meal, suljmitting without audilVle remonstrance 
to what sounds a trilie like bullying on Dick's 
part. There is in the daily intercourse of our 
" boys " such an odd mixture of (quarrelling and 
playfulness, downriglit anger and practical jok- 
ing, jocular thumps and sounding " wliacks," 
that I am often at a loss to separate the meaning 
of the one from the other. " Fun and fisticuffs," 
Geoff calls it ; adding, " wliichever they begin 
with, we may Ije sure they will end with its 
vice versa.'' The cjuieter Oomfan is at the 
moment, the more sure is he to be planning a 
retaliation in kind, so 1 have a notion some 
mischief is brewing now. My men folk are off 
exph^ring, following their several bents. My 
brother and the Captain have a notion of look- 
in u; at some of the farms hereabouts ; whether 
with a view to purcliase or only to form a com- 
pleter judgment of the capabilities of this 
grand country, I know not; but farm-hunting 
they are. Grim is botanizing, and Geoff, with 
his gun and dogs, will bring a pot contribution 
presently. 

" Ah ! here they come ! " Grim, with Bo at 
his heels, and Geoff with crest somewliat less 



1 1< 



I I' 
II 

; 1 



I 1 



. I 






i i' 



I y 



i I 



"I 



34 



A Tiai' TO THE IIAUIT BU.SCII HEHG. 



Ir I 



i 



18 li 



erect than usual. " Just my luck," he cried ; 
" 1 should have bagged such a lug paauw but 
for that little wretch of a Ho starting up when 
he wasn't wanted." Now the paauw is by no 
means l»ad eating even when one is not nn trek, 
and 1 must confess that I am angry w ith Ko 
too, and share in Geolt "s disap})ointment. This 
bird, which is commonly called the wihl turkey, 
is really the l)ustar(l. It has been termed the 
" wild peacock " also, but not correctly so, I 
fancy, unless, like Bo-peep's slieep, those we 
iiave seen have " left their tails behind them." 
From ti]) to tip of tlie extended wings the 
paauw lias i)een known to measure seven ieet, 
wliilst its proportionate height lias lieen live 
feet. The feathers are white, soft, and downy, 
and its ilesh, which is perhaps a little coarse 
and nuich too dry, reminds one of an elderly 
pheasant which had commenced life as a wild 
duck. The meat of the breast being brown and 
that of the limbs white, favours this fancy, and, 
as Geofl' has it, " at least gives some colour to 
the notion." The koorhaan is a bird much 
smaller, of the same species, and one which 
oftener finds its way into our pot than the 
paauw, which is more coy, and " takes more 
shooting." 

Dick has busied himself with the preliminary 
process of cleaning the horns of the reed-buck 
for which I have asked, not from their be- 
ing especially befiutiful, but in memory of 



A TRIP TO THE HAUPT BU8CH HKKO. 






t 



tlie place and day of their l)ein^ i>rociii'ed, 
The Ciiptaiu and Jack liave returned, accom- 
panied l)ytlie Itev. ^Ir. Pickhardt, a "real Hol- 
lander," who in the short time lie liad l)een their 
pastor lias done wonders amonii,'st the inhabitants 
of the Wood Busch Villai'e, i^ivinii' tlie i>arents 
some sense of tlie l)eauty and comfort of clean- 
liness, and the chihlren a taste for knowledge. 
His school is well attended, and it gave us (piite 
a home feeling to hear the merry voices of tlie 
youngsters laugliingly echoed to iis on the 
hill-side as they scattered to their homes 
below. Not the least of tlie l)enelits conferred 
by their minister must l)e this somewhat new 
element in Dutch family life in South Africa, 
which si^ems, as a rule, to have too much of 
gravity and decorum for the ease of true ha])- 
piness. 1 cannot think the Dutch have no 
sense of humour whatever, l)ut I am sure lacy 
have no synonym for the word "fun." The 
children apparently know no " games." They 
do not " play " as do the little ones of other 
lands. A boy is rarely seen without the long 
whip in his hand, which he cracks at intervals. 
This is his one notion of amusement, and it 
l;as the further merit of being good training for 
the waggon driving he will take to in due time 
as a fish does to water. 

There is variety in our camp scene to-night, 
for there is more of human life around and 
about us ; the kindly blink of lamp and candle 






3r. 



A TIUl' TO THE HAUPT 15USCII BEIKI. 



IS 

I 






-.1 



from tlie small mtid ciottage, round liut-tonts, 
the temporary liome o( frail construction with 
its l>aml)oo sides and canvas roof, and the buck- 
wa^uon of travellers likeourselves,all contribute 
to tlie sense of ^ood conniideship each in turn 
im[>arts. The light has ditnl out almost suddenly 
as is its wont. ^NFy brother's interest is great 
in all our visitor can tell of this tine country, 
whose ])raises the Litter evidently likes to 
sound, and to whose sliortcomings he is indul- 
gently blind: so tlie candles nearly die away, and 
subside into the necks of the two black bottles 
which serve as our candlesticks, before Jack can 
part, ^\'ith our guest, of whom we hope to see 
more on our return Irom the forests which we 
ex]^ect to reach to-morrow. 

13Tii. — We agree to breakfast comfortably 
bef(.'re starting, and during, as well as after, our 
meal are variously " interviewed " after a kindly 
fa.^liion enough. J)ick interprets readily any 
little interchanue of civilitv whicli falls to mv 
share, but dund)-sliow does the rest, and althoiigli 
as a rule I object to being gazed at stolidly or 
otlierwise, it seems surlv to show signs of dis- 
ap] »roval , and I do not now, as at first, nervousl}' 
])ut the salt into the sugar-bag and the rusks 
where the cartridges ought to be, but I look up 
at intervals with a little nod or smile as if on 
the whole I was as well entertained as mv 
visitors. 

A young Yorkshireman, a member of the 



^ 

'* 



A THIP TO THE IIAITT HUSCII llKItC. 



37 



only English Family in tlio ])ljice,uii(lei'takes to 
guide us up the l»erg, siddinn- six more oxen to 
our ten, whicli, as wo are travelling liglic, sulliee 
for our usual needs. The ascent of the l)erg 
will commence almost at once after we have 
crossed the noisy, rocky little s[)ruit at the base 
of the hill, so T am left alone in the waLjiJon — 
the men-folk m)ing on fdiead.as thev usuallv do. 
"Lazy Hetty," they call me; l>ut, indeed, it is 
tlie sun which makes nie so, if lazy I am, the 
tilt of the waggon being a most welcome shelter, 
and one which I am loth to leave until the 
tierce ravs have done their worst, and the rare 
shadows fall invitini>lv across the sandv, boulder- 
studded track. 

The Haupf Bui^cli Brrg. — The scenery of this 
day's trek has been grand and beautiful. The 
l>erg once })assed — our borrowed oxen being 
sent back in charsie of a Katir — we had still 
severe climbing before us. The ascent was 
more graihud, indeed: Init it was ever up, u]), until 
we reached our destiiuilion some 3,500 feet above 
the sea. ^lountains btd'ore, mountains behind 
us ; peaks here, peaks there ; then table-lands ; 
then kloofs and ravines, thickly wooded, and 
now, at all events, well watered. 

" Miss Hetty," had said Dick, once on coming 
to a standstill, " the master is beckoning. I ex- 
pect he wants you to look down into the hollow 
yonder." 

Dick had guessed rightly; for, on my joining 



I. 

I. 



38 



A TRIP TO THE HAUPT BUSCli P.KRC^ 



I' M 

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Jack about 100 yards in advance of the waggon, 
where he was standing l)y what seemed only a 
little cleft in the hill-side, he took me by the 
hand and silently pointed into the depths 
beneath. What a solemn hush was there ! 
broken only by the faint trickle of the fall into 
tlie stream below, which to us looked just like 
a little silver thread instead of the broad belt 
of running, lea])ing water it really was. The 
chasm was of great width and depth, and nol>le 
trees lined its inaccessible sides. Where pos- 
sible, trees had been felled, and some lay ready 
for carting awa}' neai' what witli difficulty we 
could discern as a wao^on track at the base. 

" Still as it is, there is life in plenty 
there, we may be sure — both vegetable and 
animal," said my brother, " and I should not 
wonder if the old lion which has eluded the 
hunters for so long until he deserves to elude 
them altogether now, does not own a lair here- 
abouts." 

At the fartliest drift or ford of the " Brothers '' 
Elvers, so called from twelve brothers and 
brotliers-in-law having made it a meeting-place, 
we had seen the tree-fern for the first time. It 
is astonishing to what a size this fern ^tows, 
the trunk being as large as many an oak or 
elm. We passed over one wide foot-bridge 
constructed entirely of its wood. It is not the 
season now for this fern, so we can form no just 
appreciation of its beauty ; but we are told that 



A TRIP TO THE IIAUPT BUSCH BERG. 



30 






it is beautiful and graceful too wlieu in full 
leaf. Now it looks almost grotes<[ue. 

Our tent being pitched, and what I dignify 
by the somewhat anomalous name of my 
" household duties " being performed to my 
satisfaction, I, pending the return of my com- 
panions, strolled down to the verge of the forest 
and crossed its belt, a little irregular streamlet 
of the clearest water. The sun had lost some- 
what of its power; but even had it not, the bit 
of open glade I had to cross was of no extent, 
and the brisk healthful mountain breeze which 
fanned my cheek under the wide flap of my 
faithful old l3road-brini, almost tempted me, as 
it triuhipliantly tempted Bo to a regular scam- 
per, to ''let off" our high spirits. 1 came back 
w'^hmy hands full of specimens of the most 
lonelv ferns, flowers, and ])lants wliicli grow 
luxuriantly everywhere, and which I had 
obtained in spite of brambles and thorns, to say 
nothing ot snakes. 

Some small nephews of mine, and cousins of 
Geoff's write us, " Do have some adventures," 
but it seems as if nothing worthy of that 
sounding name would come in our way : but 
who knows what mav be in store for us ? The 
men followed the spoor of a tiger a day or two 
ago ; the old lion cannot be very hir off; the 
hvaaia Jack wounded so near to its hole that it 
ran to earth to die in peace ; and " Who thinks 
anything of a jackal or a snake ? " ask Geoff. 






HI 



40 



A TRIP TO THE IIAUPT BUSCH BERG. 



i; t 1 






'111 



i: ill 



ii.l' 



" Jules Yerne, Kingston, Ballantyne, &c., spoil 
these youngsters, Nothing short of a life and 
death encounter serves their turn ; but we'll 
astonish them yet, Auntie, see if we don't. 
This is no end of a place, is it not ? " lie ran 
on. " We — that is, Pater, Grim, and 1 — liave 
had a glorious dip, and, as T had the prospecting 
basin with me, I had a try for gold." " Did 
you find any ? " I inquire. " Well, not much, 
I found ' the colour,' and that counts for 
sometliin<T. I think if vou look veri/ hard into 
this scrap of paper you may .^ee just a speck ; 
but if / cot even that vou may be sure a fellow 
who understands indications, and has double 
my patience, would find something worth kee])- 
ing. I'll turn out a nugget for you some day 
yet, Hetty. Meanwhile liere is a contril)ution 
to our curiosity-box ;" and my boy handed me 
a ])erfect specimen of a small cast-off snake 
skin from which its owner must have glided 
with ease, for it was (piite uninjured. That it 
will be as flawless when it reaches its intended 
nook in the old home cabinet is more than 1 
dare hope for. 



i 't 



i 



CHAPTEE \. 

August 14. — We had a rare treat last night, 
all the more delightful from being unexpected, 
and we owed it to the thoughtful kindness of 



A TRIP TO THE IIALTT BUSCH BERG. 



41 



I.; 



our Captain. " Every morn, as true as the 
clock, somebody hears the postman's knock ! ' 
sang Geoff, as he gave upon the tail-l)oard of 
the waggon with tlie liead of (Jrim's little pick- 
axe a famous imitation of the two I'aps with 
the door-knocker to which English ears are so 
accustomed. " Look sharp, Aunt Hetty/' he 
cried, " tlie postman is in a great hurry ; lie 
lias not half done his rounds yet, so take your 
share, for I. want to enjoy old (trim's delight 
when I hand him his budget ! " Yes ; letters 
from lionie \ Of how welcome, you who wrote 
them can hardly form a conception, nor of the 
stir aiid commotion they jjroduccd in our little 
camp, when, after each had devoui'ed i)is (or 
her) own in secret, we all met around the lire 
to discuss the various items of our news which 
might become public property. 

lUit not even olad home-tidinfis, such as for 
the most part ours liappily had been, could les- 
sen our ini})atience to penetrate into the mys- 
terious depths of the grand forests around us. 
I use the plural number advisedly, for the one 
urand whole was formed of a series linked each 
to the other with an occasional break every 
here and there — hilly grazing ground, boulder- 
strewn, filling up ga])S, disturbing uniformity, 
but adding the variety which so enhanced its 
beauty. Each rocky krantz was so densely 
covered as to be impenetrable, and no eye could 
see what chasms yawned beneath where kloof 






ii 



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A TIUP TO THK IIAUl'T BUSCII BERG. 



I' 



l»f I 



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met kloof. Even skilled experience could form 
no judgment as to which kind of tree grew 
more abundantly than another ; whether there 
were more of tlie stink wood with its dark- 
walnut orain. so valuable for furniture and car- 
riage-building, than of the sneeze wood, which 
is so called from its power to tickle tlie nose of 
him who works it into beams and lintels now, 
and who will, by-and-l)ye, turn it into the rail- 
way-slee])ers and telegraph-posts, a call for 
which will assuredly come in the train of the 
thousands which ere long must people the 
Transvaal. That the still more valuable iron- 
wood, which could be turned to like account, 
abounded, we knew ; and that our forests held 
a boundless store of the assegai-wood dear to 
the Kafir heart and highly pi'ized by the wheel- 
wi'ight, we doubted not, although amidst the 
wealth of branch and leaf we could not posi- 
tively identify it. The lordly yellow-wood, 
with its twenty-one feet or thereabouts in cir- 
cumference, and forty feet from base to crown, 
we were sure would outnumber other kinds ; 
and we surmised that the Cape cedar would be 
fairly represented, too. " So imperishable is 
this wood that no visible decay was shown by 
posts of it which must have been in the ground 
over a century," said our Captain ; '' but, alas ! 
it is less abundant than formerly. Few coun- 
tries can boast of a greater variety of really 
useful trees than that part of South Africa ; 



A TlilP TO TRK H.VUrX BUSCH BERG. 



4:^> 



but until there is a more thorouL>'h organization 
for forest management we must be content to 
be in ignorance of even the amount of treasure 
store we have." " Some plan exists, does it 
not ? " ([ueries Jack. " Yes, to some extent, 
certainlv ; but under existinu' circumstances, 
one of which is that fatal bar to all progress — 
a low exche([uer — not much can be done. The 
forests are Government property, and you or 1 
or any one who likes may pay a small fee, per 
axe, per annum, for permission to cut and carry 
away what timber we like. But here we are, 
Miss Hetty. There seems something like an 
opening and signs of labour, marking that we 
are not the only human l)einL'S here to-dav." 

Before crossinu' the " Tree- Fern lirid^e " we 
had observed a round mud liut and a small 
Kafir herdinii' <>oats close to it, and therefore 
felt less surprise at being greeted by a " Good 
morning " as we, blinking from the glare out- 
side, stepped, half blinded until our eyes got 
more used to the dimmer light, into the grate- 
ful shelter of the noble trees. The voice came 
from the depths of a saw-pit, and a second 
sufficed to bring first a head, then a j)air of 
arms, and then the whole body of its owner to 

a level with ourselves. Mr. I) , whom life's 

vicissitudes — " dropping money " at the Dia- 
mond Fields, misfortune, »jcc. — had converted 
into a sawyer, although the first step in his 
career was, I was told, something very difl'erent. 






ii< 



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44 



A TPtlJ' TO THE IIAUPT BUS(JII BEKG. 



i> 



m 



kindly constituted himself our guide, and 
showed us where we might enter and follow up 
an opening without losing ourselves, where the 
loveliest ferns grew below and the orchids 
above us, what was the girth of such a tree, 
what the hei^lit of another, answerino- all 
Grim's questions with a good-natured patience 
w^orthy of all praise. Had I paid more atten- 
tion to their talk, 1 might have more to tell you 
now — more of real information, I mean — but 
my whole heart seemed tilled by the gorgeous 
yet almost solemn l^eauty around and about me. 
I had felt something like it before upon first 
stepping into the stillness of some grand old 
cathedral, or when alone on a sea-shore with its 
monster rocks towering above and its mysteri- 
ous caves behind me, and the longing was (a 
selfish one enough) to be alone witli it all just 
till I could realize it. That thought passed, 
and soon Geoff and I, and even the Captain 
and Grim, were scrambling about treasure- 
collecting, to the evident amazement of the 
Kafir, who, having delivered his mail-bags, was 
now to remain with us, and who himself formed 
no mean feature in our forest scene, as, with the 
i>un slung ovei- his bare shoulder he stood erect 
and majestic, his lithe, well-formed limbs 
motionless, as if sculptured in polished black 
marble. He was a tine specimen of the noble 
savage, a man of many inches, but yet a very 
pigmy, for his proportions, like our owui, were 



A Till!' TO TIIK HAUIT IJUSCII L'.KKC. 



45 






dwarfed by the lordly stature of the foi'est 
moiiarclis wliose domain we had so unceremon- 
iously invaded. 

" Oh ! if only old Turle were here ! " cried 
Grim. " Wouldn't Grey revel in it ? " asked 
Jack, and " and how our fellows from Ihi shy's 
would astonish the apes!" cried Geoff, as he 
swung himself from coil to coil of tlie " ape's 
tow " or monkey vope, which festooned the 
lower as well as tlie liiLilier brandies to en- 
tangle ment — a very Paradise of swings for 
children. Even T, Hetty, had my Somebody 
whom I just longed for, one little wliile, to 
share in the exldlaration of spirits and intense 
deli^lit wldch had succeeded to that first hush 
of alnjost solemn enjoyment with wldch I had 
been inspired. I wish 1 could describe it all 
faithfully ; but my pen angers me by its inca- 
pacity to convey the picture to others wldch 
must ever remain photographed in my memory. 
Nature had been so lavish, and yet liad shaded, 
softened, and toned do'vn with such a nunute 
perfection that the smallest leaf, reed, or feathery 
grass was as lovely and complete of its kind as 
the seven or eight-feet liigh fern, or the monster 
tree whose orchid- graced crown towered so 
loftily above us I Then the sun, wldch w^ould 
not be shut out, gave such tints and warmth of 
colouring, such teeming life to everything, that 
nothing of detail was w^anting to that glorious 
whole. I have seen pictures of tropical forests 



r 



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46 



A TEII' TO THE HAUPT lUSClI BKK(;. 






I 



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il 



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which in my i,L»norance I liave deemed over 
drawn ; but no painter's wildest flight of imag- 
ination could overstep Nature's own beauteous 
bestowments in a tropical clime. 

The catalogue would be too long to write even 
did I know the names of all we saw, as we sat 
by the clear little stream which bubbled and 
danced over the pebl)les, some of which liad tiny 
golden specks, or what looked wondrously like 
them, as they sparkled under the busy waters ; 
or of all we heard as we listened to the "bird 
talk " — the occasional scream of the gaudy 
])arrots, which cleverly hid themselves amongst 
the greenery around, the chatter of the monkeys, 
the buzz-buzz of tlie winged insects, tlie whirr 
and hum of the green, sober-coated, but gay 
waistcoated grasshopper, and of the faint rustle 
of the long grasses as somdhinr/ glided by 
which had a sound so suiJiiostive that it was 
not all fun which made CJeoff' say warningly, 
" 'Ware snakes ! Lo(jk where vou <j;o, oood 
people ! " 

On our return to camp we called upon Mrs. 

D , and met with that hearty w^elcome 

which can only be accorded in its fullest sense 
by those to whom such visits as ours are very 
rare. Her life was one of such utter isolation 
that it was no wonder she should express so 
much joy at clasping hands with one of her own 
womankind once more. She spoke of her pri- 
vations and lonely life in no tone of complaint, 



A TRIP TO THE liAUPT BUSCU hElU'.. 



4: 



but as being the common lot of settlers in a 
far-away part of the country. Meat tliey seldom 
tasted ; coffee and tea were " indulgences/' tbr 
opportunities were scarce to replenish a failing- 
stock ; so ])otatoes and mealies formed their 
staple food. Tointing to her youngest little one, 
she said, " When baby came to me I was alone 
in my hut, my husband l)eing absent on business. 
I had nothing but mealies in my store, and no 
means of procuring anything else. The wife 
of a gentleman in charge at Eersteiing, hearing 
of my need, sent me coffee, tea, and a few little 
comforts. But for her I think ni}^ heart would 
almost have failed nie ; as it was, 1 wonder I 
liv^ed through that teirihle time till help 
reached me ; but I have, you see, and indeed 
in this climate one can bear and do what 
' at home ' would be thought impossible." I 

had heard Mrs. D — spoken of as a most 

"capable woman," and never was that adjective 
better applied. She had pluck and endurance, 
and that power of making the best of every- 
thing so needful to the ha])piness of any wife 
who has cast in her lot with one of the pioneers 
of civilization in a new land. "Tliat there are 
many like lier — aye, even amongst some of 
England's more softly nurtured daughters — -I 
am sure," said our Captain ; " but unless very 
certain that that latent power to bear lurks 
within, and that there is a loving heart to warm 
it into life and foster its strength and growth, 



48 



A Tiai' TO Tfli: HAUPT iiUSCIl BKKC. 



■fji 



a man had Ijetter make somewhat of a home in 
the wihlerness before he chooses a mate to sliare 
one with him. No woman so endowed need 
fear to venture, for lier compensations are many 
and her power to clieer and hearten bound- 
less. . ." 

It was with real rei^^ret that we parted from 

cheerv-hearted Mrs. D at the door of lier 

small mud cabin : her balnes clinging to her 
apron, tlieir shy eyes ligliting up their sun- 
browned faces as they looked their reluctant 
last at us all, but more especially at Geoff, 
whose antics had delighted them. " Unaccus- 
tomed to amusement in any shape, they found 
me as good fun as a luirdy-gunly or a penny 
peep-sliow. I never enjoyed making a fool of 
myself so thoroughly in all my life," said my 
boy, who could not resist the pleading for a 
roni}) which the tinies had manifested without 
the help of words. The group — that brave 
motlier and her little ones — tlie Kafir herd-bov 
with Ids goats, the cattle grazing near, &c., and 
tlie urand forest behind, v/ill I'orm another of 
my un})ainted pictures which I shall recall witli 
the vividness of reality whenever my memory 
in coming years may travel back to this 14th of 
August, 1875, upon which I write. 

Word was passed to inspan at 3 p. m., for we 
are to i>et back as far as the Wood Busch Vil- 
lage to-night, intending to pass a quiet Sunday 
there, the plan being to diverge from our 



X TRIP TO THE HAUl'T liUSClI BKRG. 



49 



original course soon after leaving it ; thus, if 
you care to follow nie, you will have a few more 
pages of my note-book to read, and I a few 
more to transcribe, before I close my tale of 
this section of our experience of life on trek in 
vSouth Africa. 



CHxVPTEli VI. 

August 14 — I write at odd intervals and 
under difficulties, so if mv scrawl is somewhat 
rigmaroly and scrappy, remember that I am not 
without my excuse. That very clever essayist 
the " Country l^arson " chose for an impromptu 
writing-table his pet horse's nose. Now I do 
not choose the enamelled hand-basin turned 
u|)side down or. the water-V>arrel on end for 
mine, but each serves its turn as such on 
occasion. I am now writing on my knee in the 
very remotest corner of the waggon, against the 
tailboard of which I have Ijeen hurled without 
ceremony as the vehicle was literally tilted upon 
end in the midst of the river, the "Brothers' 
Drift," and there left, the trek-tow or chain 
having broken, and set the oxen free. The only 
use the creatures have made of their freedom 
has been to walk gravely forward, double file, 
and, missing their load, to stand perfectly still 
in the track, blinking their eyes, twirling their 
little stumpy tails, while lazily wondering what 
has happened. 



50 



A TKIP TO TlIK IIAUI'T liUSCll m\\lG. 



mi 

hi 

1 1 1 



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1 am almost on a l(3vel witli tlie clear stream 
into wliicli I long to ]ilung(», 1)ut cannot, so I 
must content myseli' witli a dabble in it only. 
Tlie soap hit me in the eye as it leapt (Tom its 
pocket, and the towel, witli a due sense of the 
litness o! things, followed it shortly after, so I 
liave made the most of my o])portiinities. ''Ahl 
I thought we should not Mnd you very seri(nisly 
discomposed after all your experiences," says 
the Captain, who, with the others, had ridden 
back to see what caused our halt. A very little 
tinkering has mended our breakage, and in a 
few moments we are to start once more 

Before in spanning, Dick and Oomfan came 
to the tent door, and showed me how the Kafirs 
make a fire. Oomfan gathered together a heaj 
of light, dry grass. Dick took two pieces of a 
fig-tree branch, separated at the joints. Select- 
ing a smaller section and one considerably larger, 
he inserted the lesser into the greater, and rub- 
bing the former vigorously Ijetw^een the ])alms 
of his liands (^sherry-cobbler fasliion), friction 
produced sparks, which, dropping upon the 
heap beneath, soon produced a blaze. 

Sunday, Ioj^ii. — Arose later, luxuriating in a 
less hasty toilet than usual, liaving plenty of 
water from a stream running close by, the mur- 
nmring of which had lulled us to sleep last 
night. Our tent and w^aggon are fixed under 
the shelter of trees and rocks overlooking the 
village ; the liill opposite, which we shall skirt 



A TRIP TO TIIK HAi;PT 1?US(J1I r.KKG. 



J I 



it 



to-iuoiTow, frowning down n])nn us with its faco 
blackeneil by the fire.s of tlie hist week. Mim- 
osa and other trees cover tliis hill, except wliere 
the rock a])poars, relievini;- its otherwise 
funereal blackness. 

Jack attended the hutch inorninij;' service, 
not a word of which he could understand, and 
returned uearlv deafened by the verv heartv, 
but most unmusical, singiuL;' of parson and 
people. The rest of our i»arty had a short 
service in our tent, and another in the evening, 
with a sermon at Kay's Cottage, i. c. the village 
store. The Kays are the only English family 
here. A much lar^jer conoreiiation assembled 
than the room would liold, including the Dutch 
minister, who, with his elder, arrived, from a 
clock mistake, somewhat late. Grim could not 
see to read, from ihe dimness of the lights, so 
I found to my horror tliat my voice was ihe 
sole one to respond during the readiTig of the 
Psalms. I was clerk and people in one, until 
the reinforcement arrived, when hymns and 
responses were Warmly joined in and seemingly 
enjoyed. All around the room on shelves and 
pegs were the goods offered for sale in the store 
— ^Bannels, calicos, prints, saucepans, tobacco, 
beads, &c. T misbehaved on coming out, 
treating my friends to a fainting-fit. The heat 
and! closeness of the room, the smell of fustian 
and corduroy, being rather trying to one's olfac- 
tory nerves after breathing the pure air of 



52 



A TRIP TO THE HAUPT BUSCII BERG. 



Heaven night and day for so long. I was laid 
down on the grass in the moonlight, and, by 
means of the combined influences of a thorn- 
bush scraping my neck, my comb, which had 
had several fractures already, being driven into 
my head, the furious barking of the big dogs, 
which started up from everywhere, the little 
dog Bo licking rny face, and the " j^erfect cure " 
of Geoff's own invention, namely, literally 
tweaking nn^ nose fan unfailing remedy, safe to 
cure a fainting person, whose first sensation on 
"cor ing to" is that of being all nose, and that 
a swelled and aching one), I was (quickly my- 
self ai>ain. 

o 

MoxDAY, IGth. — To-dav tlie trio are off to 
visit a farm, partly the object of our trip. The 
captain has l)orrowed a second liorse to enable 
himself and Grim to travel "ride and tie/' 
They are to return aljout tvv^o or three o'clock, 
and we are to have the tent struck ready for a 
start soon after. ]\leanwhile I am all alone in 
my glory ^^'riting in the tent, using the large 
canteen as a table. Jack wanted me to have 
one of the Kay girls as a companion in case I 
should l)e afraid of the Kafirs ! A kind offer, 
which 1 declined witli thanks, for I luxuriate 
in a quiet time, especially when my diary lias 
got into arrears. The big pot witli some excel- 
lent buck stew stands by me ready for my din- 
ner ; and talking of dinner makes me think I 
liad better have some, which I do ! 



A TRIP TO THE IIAUPT DUSCII liEUG. 



53 



A Kafir flourishing his assegai (or spear) has 
just passed by the tent door. I watch the 
blankets, lest he should take a fancy to liave 
one, as they are temptingly spread out to air 
on the grass; but my watchfulness knows no 
other cause. Moreover, I liave Carlo, too lame 
to go a-hunting with his master, and plucky 
little Bo, to protect me and my belongings also. 
Now in watchin<^ that Kafir I did liim woeful 
injustice. No doubt lie would have liked 
huL^elv one of our gay-coloured ruo'S ; but I 
tJiinl: he would not have stolen one now, and I 
k/iou' he would not had tliey 1)een left in his 
charge. To the savage mind there is no great 
crime in ijieking }vp as a waif or stray anything 
hds heart covets, even althouiih he knows it to 

' CI? 

belong to another, l)ut place him in charge of 
vour belongiugs and no mastiff guards liis 
master's property more valiantly than will he. 
Dick, wlio has been oxen-seeking or other- 
wise employed, joins me now and says laugh- 
ingly, "Why, missus seems always to like sit- 
ting Kafir fasliion" (for 1 refuse the rickety 
water ])arrel, or that unbearably warm seat, /. e 
a roll of rugs, which he ofiers). "Does missus 
know why a Kafir won't never sit on a cliair 
even if he u'ets the chance ?" 1 venture the 
shrewd guess that possibly he finds the ground 
safer. Showing a row of exceptionally white 
and even teetli, Dick grins approvingly. 
"That's it, missus ; a Kafir says 'tis only Erg- 



M 



64 



A TRIP TO THE HAUPT BUSCH BERG. 



p. r ■ 

ill 

I 

M 

w 



111 


f 

i ! 

{ ; 

i 



t 



lishmen and cliickens what want perches !" I 
am in for a talk with Dick, that is plain, so I 
drop my note-book for awhile and indulge 
him ; and, indeed, myself at the same time, for 
Dick is intelligent and observant, and has much 
to tell at times worth listening to. On my 
naming to him my momentary distrust of the 
Kafir, he s])oke of the pecidiar honesty of the 
Zulus. "They love money dearly, missus, Ijut 
you may trust them with anything — and many's 
the chance of stealing they have — but they 
(hr/if even if thev are sure not to be found out. 
I think the Zulus are kind of (jnitlcmcn Kafirs^ 
. . After a pause a new piece of informa- 
tion strikes Dick, and he adds : — "Would 
missus believe it now, but Kahrs liave their 
fashions like white folks. Sometimes they 
must have their beads all round-shaped, then 
kind of flat, tlien long. As to the colour of 
them, why one time they'll only have blue, and 
at another they wouldn't have a blue, no not 
for aw/JiuKj! then 'twill be red and then a 
kind of no-colour, or whitey-brown, then they'll 
mix them, tlien they won't; its enough to make 
you laugli." And we do laugh ; Dick, because 
he cannot help himself, and I, because it gives 
him such pleasure to have his eloquence appre- 
ciated. The chuckle over, Dick adds, "Why 
sometimes a chief will choose what kinds of 
beads his peoj^le shall have ! " Feudalism with 
a vengeance, think I. Dick walks away for 



A TRIP TO THE HAUPT BUSCIi BEKG. 



55 



awhile, liavini,^ an innate sense of wliat I cannot 
help terming delicacy; but he hopes to be 
recalled, I know. vSeeing a tiny winged thing 
flit by I ask wliat it may be, never thinking a 
creature so small can be a bird 1 It is one 
nevertheless. " The honey-bird missus. That's 
the way the Kafirs find their honey. They 
just follow it, and it is safe to lead tiiem to 
wliere the bees have l)een hidinu' their store." 
Dick is in two minds to follow the pretty tiling 
then and there, to surprise us with honey for 
our next meal ; but a new idea strikt^s Idm, so 
he continues his gossip instead. "Missusjknows 
how the Kafirs up this way " (as if they were 
quite a peg below those he was more acquainted 
with) " make that horrible noise when they 
sneeze ? " Missus does, for her ears are fairly 
accustomed to the unearthly sound. So she is 
told the Natal Kafirs, or they of the upper ten 
thousand at least, " don't do that, not if they can 
help it. They'll snuff and snuff till the tears 
roll down their hices in streams. Oh ! they like 
that — fine ! " " V liat do they make their snuff 
from ? " I ask. *' Aloe ashes pounded up with 
tobacco — tlicy do I but these fellows crush up 
almost anything. So long as it tickles their 
noses they're well enough satisfied I " 

TuESDAy, 17TII. — The explorers did not return 
yesterday quite as early 'as they had planned, 
they having been decoyed somewhat further on 
by their extreme interest in all they saw. The 



56 



A TRIP TO THE HAUPT BUSCH BERG. 



li ? •; 



general opinion was highly in favor of the great 
fertility of the soil and the infinite resources of 
the Transvaal, not only as a wheat-growing, 
but as a grazing country. 

"Surely, where nearly every fruit of the 
temperate zone can be produced, steady industry 
ought to liave grand results for him to reap 
who does not spare its bestowal on tliis fruitful 
land. The Transvaal is the great grain-supplier, 
or h;is been, of the Orano-e Free State and 
Natal. It can produce sugar, tobacco, and coftee 
also. The rapidity with which the dry bed of 
a river will become full makes amends for its 
inconveniences, if due care be taken to hoard 
a su])ply at tlie proper moment. Tlien the 
minei'al wealth is £ireat, as all tlie world 
knows," &c. 

This was the neneral chorus: but whether 
anything tanuil)le is to come of all this, in tlie 
shape of farm-purcliasing or such like, T am 
mucli too discreet to inquire. Geoff, who, 
boy-like, thinks more of the sport than of any- 
thing else, wishes that Dad would " let him off 
Oxford and let him take to Transvaal farming 
instead." "You could keep house (or hut). 
Auntie, and we'd have prime times" ; with a 
royal disregard to my feelings on the subject, 
or knowing that he is secure of me any when or 
anywhere, God bless him ! Grim and I ended 

horrible. 



day 



jally 



The sun had been very fierce. I had felt it so 



"^ r 



A TRIP TO THE IIAUPT BUSCII BKKG. 



57 



in the tent, and Grim ditto whilst imdemoinLi- 
unwonted exertion, even for him. Ihit neither 
of us woukl listen to tlie suggestion of sunstroke ; 
and, but for " they stwons ! they stwons ! " as 
Geoff quoted, which cruelly jarred our nerves 
as we jolted over the vrack, the cool night air 
would have carried away our aches and ])ains 
even sooner than it did. Wliat the briglit 
moonlight showed us I must keep for my next 
chapter. 



CILVPTEli \\l. 



if 



a 



d 



o 



August 18. — '•' Oli 1 what a relief:" both 
Grim and I had exclaimed when tlie waggon 
came to a halt at our nine o'clock outspan last 
nio'ht. '* Xow von two can ' take it easv,' " had 
cried the trio, " whilst Ave get you a good cup of 
tea, after which 3-0 u can enjoy this glorious 
moonliu'lit to vour heart's content." 

It was a glorious moon ! Xo one who has 
never left Old Eni>iand can conceive of such 
beauty, size, or irroimuivAty. Tliere must have 
been a peculiar beauty in its rays last night, or 
we, who liad all been so well accustomed to the 
glories of a South African sky, could liardly 
have been so severallv alive to its inliuence 
then. Another waggon had outspanned close 
to us, and it stood out in the light with an 
almost startling vividness, whilst the very 



■1 i 



58 



A TRIP TO TliiC HAUPT BUSCH BERv 



1^ 






H- 



blades of grass appeared as if magnified by a 
microscope. 

All sentiment was dispersed to the winds 
(and what a trifle suffices for that !) by our 
hearing the shrill cries and chattering of a lot 
of KaHr w^onien, who advanced towards us 
from their distant kraals to fetch ^V'ater. Their 
vessels w^ere Ijorne upon their heads as they 
walked with their usual firm tread, single tile, 
after their manner. Unfortunately our own dogs, 
down to little Bo, beliaved most inhospitably, 
setting a bad example to those of our neighbors. 
Tliey rushed after the new comers with a zeal 
which would have been praiseworthy in a 
better cause, but highly un1)ecoming under ex- 
isting circumstances, for the women had a 
higlier right than ourselves to the water close 
by. No calling back of the dogs, no assurances 
of Dick and Oomfan, wdio, I am afraid, made 
some jokes too hard to be put up with, at the 
same time, could induce the fugitives to return. 
I w^as the more sorry for them when I heard 
Dick say, " I expect, Master, their husbands 
will give them a greater fright still when they 
go back without any water." " Dick is too good- 
natured not to mend matters bv deeds," I 
surmised as I saw a figure disappearing in the 
distance with what looked suspiciously like 
tlie water-barrel ; and when, later, a far-away 
chatter, chatter, and then a nearer ditto, with, 
really soft laughter, which could only come 



A TRIP TO THE HAUPT BUSCII BERG. 



59 



I 



y 

b. 



from souls quieted and pacified, reached my ears, 
I was satisfied tliat the amende honor able had 
been made and accepted. 

Once during tlie night our dogs made a 
frantic raid ; but, from the answering yells, there 
was no doubt they were after legitimate prey, 
probably jackals, if not worse, prowling round 
our camp, lio leapt off our joint bed to share 
in tlie fun, and howled dismally at finding the 
curtain of the wau'^on fastened with a close 
inpenetrability, over whicli I rejoiced. I am 
used to noises ; therefore, IJo's excitable fit over, 
the jackal chased beyonil our limits, and our 
neighbor's dogs once more asleep, I had but the 
rattlinc^ horns of the oxen and the see-sawing 
of the waggon as it was pulled now at one 
wheel, now at another, by the horses tethered 
on either side of me, to act as my disturbers, 
and was soon in the land of dreams, neither 
hearim? nor heedino- the cries of the jackals nor 
the positively depressing sighs for emancipation 
heaved by the steeds almost into my very 
ears. 

Talking of the dogs' misbehaviour at break- 
fast this morning, the Captain remarked that 
some of them have a peculiar antipathy to 
Kafirs, flying at them, pinioning them down, 
and standing over them until called off by their 
master. The very same dogs will fawn upon 
white folks. Kalir dogs return the compliment, 
flying at a white, but caressing a black man. 



1 1 



tf 



GO 



A TPiir TO THE IIAUl'T LUSCII BERG. 



t; i 



!'f 



i'^ 



At 7 we had just a cup of coffee only, be- 
fore inspanniiig — trekking till 10, when we 
made excellent breakfasts of bucksteaks, bread 
and tea. Jack's horse had contrived to free 
itself from the wheel and had roamed away ; 
but we are ho])ing to find him at the farm 
ahead, wliere tlie sensil)le creature lias on pre- 
vious occasions met liospitable reception, and is 
probably in liaste for a repetition thereof. His 
"spoor" is visible on tlie trac^k, and we have 
only to note the marks to catch tlie truant. 
Jack with his gun, and Grim his chum, have 
started on afoot, ^vith a Kafir to carry provisions 
and game bag. They hope to meet w^itli a buck 
or birds, this being a promising place for sport. 
We are to join them at the farm by -and -by. 
The Ca})tain and Geoff are conversing in the 
waggon, whilst I am scribbling this sitting on 
a saddle in the very small bit of shade afforded 
by the vehicle itself There is just a little 
breeze, but the sun is very powerful. The 
Captain laughs at our complaints of it, 
wonderim.r how we shall bear the iournev back 
to Natal a little later on in the season. I trust 
by then we shall have l)ecome more used to 
the dried-up, tight-skinned feeling this constant 
baking and glare produces. 

A very fine-looking Kafir came up to the fire 
a few minutes ago, entering into conversation 
with our small black attendant, and looking 
with hungry eyes at the porridge-pot, his dog 



A TlUl' TO THE ILVUIT liUSClI UKUd. 



Gl 



on 
led 

^lie 

it, 
Lck 
ust 

to 
ant 

fire 
ion 
ing 
llog 



snuffing round it witli a view to breakfast also. 
Oomfan oflered liini nothinu', <'-oin<'- on with his 
occupation of stirring tlie porridge with the 
end of one of the tliree sticks from wliich the 
kettle is usually suspended, occasionally wiping 
its end upon his black paws, before licking them, 
with a great air of enjoyment. Tired of this, 
he took up tlie Kafir gun, pointing it here and 
there, evidently picturing himself a great brave 
all the time. I made the boy a gesture to stop 
his antics, and so perfectly has his pi'evious 
mistress trained him to obey, that he dropped 
the guo instantly. It is now close upon in- 
spanning time, so I must stop for awhile. 

12.15. — A man with a waggon has brought 
word that " the horse has been found," that 
" the Boss " has shot a buck, and that we are 
to make all speed to meet him at the little 
settlement a few miles further on, formed ])y a 
colony of Dutch relations, one member only of 
wdiom has married an Englishman. Wliat we 
see there, and any tritie which may befall us 
by the way, I must enter into my trusty note- 
book as occasion offers. 

4 p.m. — A very short " occasion " offers be- 
fore we leave this interesting little colon v, but 
I will make tlie most of it, and a beginning, at 
all events. Our tirst visit was to the house of 

Mr. i\I , the Englishman, where w^e received 

a most kind welcome from himself and his 
Dutch wdfe, wdio showed by signs her pleasure 



62 



A TKIP TO THE IIAUPT BUSCII WEllVr. 



Ill: 



I • 



Hi 



at our call, begging lier husband to express her 
regret at lier inaV)ility to converse with us. 
The Captain lias sc fair a knowledge of Dutch 

that lie is at no loss, and Mr. M 's broken 

English helped us considerably. Our host 
owned to beini'- forgetful of his mother-tonoue 
— and it was not difiicult to realize the possi- 
bility, so rarely an opportunity offers for hiin to 
utter a syllable of it. We had been told that 
a lady from the Cape had undertaken the post 
of general instructress to the children of the 
colony ; but she was engaged in the duties of 
her office, and so we missed shaking hands with 
her. Mr. M said, " I wish we had a doc- 
tor. We need one sadly ; distances are so wide, 
and the impossibilty of obtaining medical help 
we feel deeply." Pressed as to possible stipend 
a medical practitioner might count upon, our 
friend became somewhat incoherent, and fenced 
the cjuestion ; but his need is that of others, 
and new comers, whose advent the Transvaal 
soon looks for, will surely include some doctors, 
who might, at all events, combine other avoca- 
tions for awhile wherewith to eke out an in- 
come, payment in kind, after the favourite 
Dutch fashion, in that case not proving a bad 
one. First to come will be first to win, at all 
events. 

There ! I have used up all my spare time in 
digression, and the remainder of my visit must 
be scribbled about at our next outspan 



A TllIP TO THE nxVVT BLSCll liERC. 



G3 



Our second call at tlie liouse of sonic 
quite iJutcli peopl(i plea^^ed us best. Mr. 
Momis is a l)rotlicr of tlie Boer who 
owned tlie farm upon wliicli we have out- 
spanned when the tire occurred. The rooms 
were very clean, and of a good size, with far 
more comforts tlian the Dutcli usuallv have. 
Many of tlieir peculiarities prevailed, however, 
such as the closets havinii; <dass doors for the 
display of china and glass, knick-knackeries, 
kc, each shelf being ornamented with a cloth 
trimmed with broad edging of crochet or other 
lace. Mrs. Morals showed me a small tiower- 
garden, enclosed by a high bamboo fence, in 
which she was trying to raise a few flowers. 
Cattle and fowls are sad destroyers of garilens 
around the farms, making the latter rare luxuries. 
I like Mrs. Morals exceedingly, hnding her 
vastly superior to tlie .Dutch born in tliis 
country, who, as a rule, dislike the hond fide 
Hollander even more than they do the non- 
IJutch-speaking English. 

There was no nustaking the fact that it was 
a very real pleasure to her to have us as lier 
temporary guests. It changed the current of 
her life for a little, which nuist have much of 
stagnation to detract from its happiness. That 
her husband should prefer her, an Old Country 
woman (how it came about that slie should have 
found her way to South Africa at all I did no 
like to enquire), was a strong argument in favo 



04 



A run* TO Tin: IIAUPT BUSCH BEUC. 



of his own greater eiiligbt^eniiicnt and larj^e 
lieartedness ; and, indeed, the air of refinement 
about their dwelling and home economy gener- 
ally marked this very clearly. Mrs. Alorais 
took me into her large cool bedroom (open to 
the roof, as all South African houses happily 
are), poured out water into a full-sized hand- 
basin from a real bedroom water jug, gave me 
soap in plenty and towel of Englisli make and 
proportions. She added the luxury of a clean 
hair-brush ; and, when 1 looked at myself in 
her small Init real swinging glass of anti(|ue 
make, on a table meant for toilet purposes only, 
I could hardly believe that I was not in some 
rather ([uaint but clean and homely farndiouse 
in Europe. I had nearly said England, but 
that would be a misnomer. Its very charm 
consisted of a certain (juaintness as fitting to it 
now as it might have been one hundred years 
ago, had the homestead then existed, and winch 
would as eciUeally fit it should it be the home of 
future generations a hundred years hence. The 
clean sheets ndght not have been scented with 
lavender, Ijut I fancied they were, which did 
quite as well. As I stepped, refreshed ap'^ 
comfortable, into the "fore-huis,"orgenernl cr.' 
where not only our own party, but t .ui. 
f/entlcTiien of the colony had assembk alsn, 
Geoff whispered mischievously to me, " Don't 
cut a fellow. Aunt Hetty, just because you've 
had a turn at the loooking-glass. Any one can 



A TUll' TO TUL IIAIHT rJUiSt'll UKRG. 



t)5 



scu you have l)eeii prinking your foiithers." As 
of course I luul, to tin* liest of my jil>ilities; 
and, allhoutjli the additions to niv usual attire 
were no other than a pair of hnen eull's instead 
of the inevitable paper affairs I occasionally 
indul,L>'(i in, and just a tiny Ijhio how upon my 
hoUand iacket under mv coUai', I felt attired 
riglit royally, and prepared to enjoy to the lull 
the remain(ler of my visit to this really nice 
Dutch family, of our further ac(juaintance with 
wlioni I hope to tell you presently. 



CHArTEK Ylll. 

August 20. — Eersteling once more. Xo 
quiet moment has offered for me to continue 
my jottings until now, and indeed I believe 
you who may care to read them will not 
quarrel with the fact. You will gain in one 
thing at all events ; they will not cost you halt 
the effort to decipher as if they had all the ups 
and downs and involuntary iioarishes I would 
have avoided nuiking hitherto if I could. Try 
writing " on trek," and see if you could manage 
much better. But to my tale. 

I left myself making a kind of stage entrance 
in a perfect elation of spirits at having dis- 
pensed with pounds of dust, and having laid 
what Geoff impertinently termed a " veritable 
sliine " upon my sunburnt face. I found those 



w 

!;tH 



■MM 



Ui' 

I 



11 



pi i 



V^ 



^t 



h^'. 



It! 



66 



A TKIP TO THE HAUPT BUSCH BEKG. 



of the party who coiihl converse, i. c, tlie 
Captain, Mr. M., Jack witli a rare monosyllable, 
and nice Mrs.]Morais,all talking amicably; while 
Geoff, whose enforced silence was by no means 
to his taste, was making a bo-peep by-play 
with one or two small tilings who had crept in 
to have a share in tlie show. Creoff's only Dutch 
words are "Ja" and " Mooi," or pretty; but it 
is astonishing how elorpient lie manages to be 
witli them, and how far he makes them oo. 

The remaining guests satcpiietly as listeners, 
but manifesting mucli interest when now and 
again a question was put as to the outside 
world, intelligent and pleasant to answer if one 
could judge by the Cajjtain's air of animation 
and interest as he replied. Mrs. Morals placed 
me a chair close to her own, wliicli was awaiting 
her at the head of the table, so tliat she might 
till our cups — some of them with tea — herself, 
instead of having the tray upon a side table, 
and the details of its management attended, to 
by a third person, the mistress being treated as 
a guest, as it were. It was *' o-ood to see " her 
dainty handling of her pretty china. I could 



Pi 



cture her careful l)rinuin(i Lo Africa of those 



valued relics from her far-away old home, as I 
am sure she must have done by her loving 
toucli upon each. A fair white napkin lay 
ready to her hand foi* use after every cup was 
dipped before filling, into a china bowl close 
by, really benefiting by its batli instead of suf- 



' 



II 



A TRIP TO THE ILVUPT BUSCII BERrj. 



67 



fi 



fering tliereby, as fre([uently, nay, invariably, 
happens during a coffee-drinking ceremony in the 
ordinary Dutch Boer's house — a ceremony 
which so painfully detracts from one's appre- 
ciation of the hospitality intended. Tea over, 
the men-folk strolled about the place whilst I 
saw all my hostess could sliow of her own 
domain. The want of wood makes fencin'' an 
almost unheard-of process, and in ])lace of it 
Kahr herd-bovs tend the cattle and Lruard the 
crops from in, jury. 

Talkini>' over the fire incident of which I have 
made mention, I o1:)served to Mrs. Morals my 
surprise at the calmness and etpianimity with 
wldch her l>rother-in-lan' had awaited what 
seemed to threaten certain destruction to his 
property, only bestirring himself at tlie last 
moment, lie liaving previously simply looked on 
whilst his Kafirs belabore.l the tlames. Slie 
SQiiled as she replied in her ])retty foreign tones, 
" Ah ! he had plenty to do after you had all g^niQ. 
The wind broun'ht the fire round to the back of his 
place, where they haef tak-ju no great care to 
protect tliemselves, and even the house liad a 
narrow escape. It was with great labour and 
difficulty tliat his corn-stacks and cattle w^ere 
saved, and not without danger too. His wife 
worked liard to rescue the voung colts and 
calves, which would keep running back again 
and again into the verv places from which she 
liad snatched them. My [)rother-in-law," she 



i 
i 



m 






I 



68 



A TRIP TO THE IIAUPT BUSCH BERG. 



added with an involuntary smile, "had the 
whiskers singed away from one side uf his face. 
He must liave gone pretty nigh the lire to do 
that ! " Eyen a phlegmatic Dutchman must he 
moved sovicichat by so personal a loss as his 
\\'hislvers, I should fancy, especially as in all 
probability he might own no razor wherewith 
to make all ''' fair and even " once more. 

It was witli unaiTected regret and real reluc- 
tance that we parti^d from our new friends; 
and I have now another treasured memory- 
mosaic to add to my store of unj)ainted pictures, 
in that little group of isolated Dutch home- 
steads, that land-islaud on the Yeldt, inhabited 
by calm and peaceful souls seemingly so con- 
tent vrith their lot tliat nought of the outer 
world could touch or move them, wishing for 
nothing more than just the return kindly Na- 
ture e\'er gives to human toil, and never 
unmindful in their simple piety of the Giver, 
without whose blesoing earth, even to the most 
industrious of her labourers, cannot yield her 
increase. 

Our outriders had gone on ahead to select 
our next camping-place, and we were called to 
a halt somewhat earlier than usual for a short 
rest only, and for a more hearty meal than we 
had taken in '' the colony." Two fires were 
lighted by way of expediting matters, that the 
men might, as soon as we were served, betake 
themselves to their own repast. 



1 



,1 

I 

■: 



A TRIP TO THE HAUPT BUSCII BEKG. 



69 



The spot chosen for our temporary camp was 
ill such contrast to that we had so lately left 
that I half wished we had passed it hy un- 
visited. I kept my notions (" fads," Jack calls 
them) to myself, but I will confide them to you, 
and I doubt if you will think me fanciful, as 
he does. We had left smiling plenty, happy 
homes filled with happy people within, and 
ample life and animation witliout — weaving corn 
and sweet-scented oranc^e- trees and cattle in 
abundance. Here we found what had hecri all 
that, ruined and devastated, telling of wliat might 
befall — -Heaven (••rant it never mav! — tliat little 
Arcadia from whicli we liad but just parted. 
Had it been fever? Had it been savage war- 
fare ? or simply just a want, which hope had 
said might be better supplied a little farther on 
in the wilderness, tempting the inhabitants 
away "on the quest." 

" Now, Hettv," said Jack, "before vou buihl 
up a story about these ruins — and indeed they 
look quite imposing in this early moonlight — let 
me tell you there seems every sign of the failure 
of an ambitious attempt at irrigation, which 
lailure lias probaljly been at the bottom of the 
desertion of this little ' dorp.' Grim thinks so. 
He has been ferreting about in some dyke-like 
looking places, and the Captain shares his 
fancy. How much this country just w^ants 
enliglitened inhabiting ! I fancv the good folks 
who built themselves such substantial houses, 



, 



ft' ' 

1 1' ' • 






m 

If' i* 



til ^ 



if 



70 



A TRIP TO THE HAUI'T BUSCH BERG. 



even going the length of ornamental copings to 
beautify their mud walls, trusted to the "divin- 
ing rod" or some sucli simple method only; 
had they known a little more they would 
not have been so easily daunted ; but who 
knows ? " Here, take these," he added wearily 
to Dick. " I'm just dead beat ; the buck gave 
me no end of a chase. If the birds had not 
been pretty nigli at Imnd you'd not liave seen 
a feather of one of them." Five pheasants, 
two koorhaan, and an odd rabbit or two were 
disgorged by the game bag, and m} brother 
richlv deserved the snooze he took without 
ceremony by my side. 

Tired Jack slept through the sliouts, gun- 
firings, and dog noises which speedily followed 
our talk. " Look out, Auntie," cried my boy ; 
" there to the left," for, of course, I looked, 
woman-like, instantlv to the wrong side. "Yah! 
stupids" (to tlie dogs, thank goodness). '' You've 
missed" (just what he had done himself, by-the- 
by), and the chased liyena ran to earth, panting 
and pursued, but safe and sound. Geotfs vexa- 
tion was very great, and I think [ was just a 
triile sympathetic, because had I even seen the 
tldng I might have 'uade something of an ad- 
venture of it for thv^se insatiable children at 
home. 

The Captain, over our supper, told us how 
daring hunger makes these animals. A friend 
of his, while sleeping on the Veldt, had a piece 



A TRIP TO THE IIAUIT BUSCII BERO. 



71 



of mutton stolen from under the saddle upon 
which his head rested; and in hard times, when 
otlier prey is scarce or unattainal)le, cowards 
as they are, they have been known to carry off 
young children from native luits. They liave 
a touch of the cannibal about them, too, he 
added, for they make nothincy of devouring the 
carcass of a dead companion if they come across 
him after he lias fallen a prey to man's 
vengeance wdiich ihey have escaped, biding their 
time for the feast. ]S"ow Bo and I had been 
taking a quiet stroll for some distance in the 
moonlight amongst the ruins, and possiljly this 
particular beast had licked his lips over the 
prospect of a dainty meal of one of us. Hither- 
to I had had no thought of any possible dan- 
ger in the solitary rambles I loved, but in 
future I think I may keep nearer to camp ns 
being the more prudent plan. 

One more trek (this moonlight travelling, 
cooler for the oxen, is arranged for where prac- 
ticable), In'ought us to our last halt for our last 
night out. Jack wishes to get back to the 
little mining settlement, where we remain for 
a short time longer, with no delay, if possible. 

Our next morning's meal was enjoyed in the 
near neighborhood of our kind once more, al- 
though this time we unfortunatelv could make 
no acquaintance with the good people of the 
house. Diphtheria had, alas 1 carried off one 
of their little ones, and others were suffering 



fi 



wmmmmm 



'i 



\l 



I 



i 



.■t 



IN I* 
lU I 

l?>i;5 !' 






72 



A TRIP TO THE HAUPT BUSCII BERG. 



from it also. We could not well intrude, nor 
indeed were we invited to do so. The Captain 
held some friendly talk with them and ex- 
l^ressed our sympathy in their sorrow. This 
farm lay somewhat low and was damp, a fact 
which in some measure accounted for the ill- 
ness. Griui was especially struck with the 
productiveness of the place, giving it the palm 
over the generality of cultivated lands we had 
passed — hedges of apple trees, the mulberry tree, 
oranges, lemons, peaches, pomegranates, vine- 
yards and corn. The grass about had been very 
carelessly l.>urnt, and the orange trees had been 
seriously scorched ; but Nature is a quick re- 
storer in this climate, and I doubt if these 
traces will long remain. Troops of the prettiest, 
tiniest, softest, most balw- faced, kittenisli-lool^- 
inu; and verv lovable little kids, calves and 
lambs, gambolled alwut us as we drank our 
coffee, coming temptingly near, answering with 
yielding bleat our coaxing invitations, l)ut 
allowing tliemselves to be caught, never. 

IMarabastadt once more was our next out- 
span, and there we had the pleasure of making 

the acquaintance of Mr. and Mrs. G , a 

Cape gentleman and his pretty young bride. ]\Ir. 
O had been a resident of the Transvaal for 



some time, but his wife, fresh from her more 
luxurious home in the older colony, seemed 
determined to make very light of any little 
roughnesses whicli miaht fall to her share. 



A TRIP TO THE HAUPT BUSCH BERG. 



73 



That she would have no more than her husband 
could possibly avoid was evident, for he had 
surrounded her witli manv of tliose elegances 
and refinements whicli can make a home beau- 
tiful, even in the wilderness; books, too ! aii'l 
who does not know how they can people a soli- 
tude anywliere ? 

One tiling struck me as being particularly 
noteworthy as we neared our destination — 
namely, the manner in whicli the track was 
almost carpeted by locusts, a swarm of which 
must liave lately passed over it, and have fallen 
a prey to tlieir usual enemies, the locust-birds, 
which ever follow in tlieir train. These clever 
hunters whirr through the tlf>atirig clouds of 
living creatures, disaliling tliem after a fasliion 
of their own, probably iiip]>iiig their wings, 
without which the crijipled insects fall t(» the 
ground, where they lie lielpless until their as- 
sailants are ready to devour them alter the 

attack As I write, here comes, by way 

of practical demonstration, the big brown cloud 
itself, with its eauer followers of more kinds 
than one. The air is thick with the destructive 
things, almost to darkness. They come in col- 
umns and ranks; they come in masses ; then 
the rearguard, and then the stragglers ; tak- 
ing no note of tlieir falling comrades, but 
with a dogged stupidity, helter-skelter, pell- 
mell, anyhow and anywhere, numbers at 
last dropping down and lying helplessly 



\f r 



74 



A TRIP TO THE IIAUPT UUSCII BERG. 












siJ 



in heaps on the ground and on the big boulders 
close to our tent. To see Bo's excitement as 
he snaps madly at tliem, and his extreme dis- 
gust at the sensation when he makes a better 
catch than usual, and gets one whole locust, and 
enough to hold by of anotlier, is ludicrous in 
the extreme. The cats (and they swarm here 
as elsewhere) are half demented with delight, 
as they tear aljout nuidly, here, there and every- 
where, slaying their foes by tlie dozen with 
paws and whisking tails; but sneezing furiously 
as their noses and throats are tickled by the 
strugglinrr legs of a victim. The old hens, 
cluckinu' to their chicks the uood news of the 
feast spread for tliem, arrive from all parts, 
leaping to meet the smaller members of the 
mighty phalanx, and looking inexpressibly comi- 
cal as they do so. Jack, the big tame buz- 
zard, and small family of large, ungainly 
ostriches share in the excitement, a short-lived 
one happily, or I verily believe tlie infection 
would extend itself to Geoff and myself, and, 
our iit of irrepressible laughter over, tha.t we 
should take to snapping at locusts too. 

The Kafirs are gathering them in pans and 
native vessels of all shapes and sizes, with a 
view to a feast, wdien time permits of their 
roasting them in the ashes of the fire that will 
be a-light on all sides when the shrill steam- 
whistle ol' the Works screams its welcome invi- 
tation to rest and dinner presently. 



m 



A TRIP TO THE IIAUPT BU8CH BERG. 



75 



But it is time tliat my tale should draw to a 
close. Tt was late at niglit when the wheels of 
our waggon awoke the eclioes of the sleeping 
old Iron Mountain and its comrades niuh at 
hand. Tlie weary workers above and below 
ground were all wrapped in slumber too. The 
whirr, whirr, whirr of the machinery was at 
rest until — all too soon for our ears, which had 
lost for a time the memory of ir^ busy nmsic — 
it should begin its weary round at 5 o'clock on the 
morrow's morn. We miglit have thouglit it a 
very city of the dead, but for the uprising, as if 
by the sign of a magician's wand, from all sides, 
of dogs little and big, whose furious bark of 
anger turned to one of pleasure, as they rul)bed 
noses with our dogs, down to little Bo, and 
wagged their tails in greeting, as if to bid us 
welcome too, and to asK inrpiiringly how it had 
fared with us during our days of travel to and 
from the Government forests of the Haupt 
Busch Berg. 






I If 



m 



i I 



11* 



m 



• 



ON FOOT THROUGH THE COLONIES; 

or, NOTES FROM OUR LOG IN PARIS. 



<♦> 




Y old inveterate ]ial)it of note-takiiii:' has 
again seized me, here in tlie very heart of 
this great world's show, and I venture to 
forward tlie result of nry jottings to the same 
valual)le ])a])er which found room for tliose other 
jottings of mine in the wilds of Soutli Africa 
itself. 

It seemed to follow in natural sequence that 
we sliould come to Paris — as many of our party 
at least as could do so — to see the gathered 
wonders of countries, new as well as old ; we 
who had travelled so far to seek them where they 
are, after all, perhaps hest to be seen. AVe had 
thought it would he good to note in full devel- 
opment mucli that we had viewed only in the 
rougli, as it were ; to see as a finished whole 
what had of necessity appeared incomplete ; 
there the crude materials, here the vast uses to 
which they could be put. " What man has 
done, man may do," and tliose who with 
thoughtful forecast look well ahead may from 
even the comparatively few specimens of 
Colonial products here exhibited predict what 



78 



NOTES KKOM OUR LO(i IX PAIUS. 



ti 



Mi 



I 



h.; . 



'1 



a mine of wealth tliey may prove bye-and by to 
tliose who know how to use them with a wise 
skill and inchistry. 

"All very fine, old tellovvs ! " Geoff had said 
as we had passed one daz/lin<^ vision after 
another of the Hnished beauties of eountries 
whose eivilizatiou dated centuries ago ; "all very 
tine ! but you are old hands you know ; you just 
wait a bit, and we colonists will astonish you 
vet!" Geotr, on the streno'th of his South 
African wanderings, (piite believes that he has 
a right to his selt-bestowed title, and with a 
boy's love of taking sides, stands up for old Eng- 
land's far-away children as if every ])roof of 
greater excellence born of longer experience and 
other self-evident advantages were a direct 
attack upon them. "If I am not a colonist 
now," he urges l)y way of explanation, " I mean 
to be one some day, so it comes to the same 
thing." Geoif has been "grinding" and has well 
earned his holiday. " Let us go to Paris, Pater," 
he had said ; "Aunt Hetty can skip a few blank 
pages in ' Our Log,' and begin afresh one lieaded 
' On Foot througli the Colonies ; ' " and thus it 
came about that I find myself, note-book in hand, 
wedged in 1 jet ween two blocks of veritable 
South African timber, the " Boschboerboom " 
and the " wdiite milk w^ood ;" the eland's thorn, 
the sneeze-wood, &c., all nigh at hand, the well- 
made Cape cart, whose familiar friendliness has 
tempted me to its rear for shelter, aftbrding me 



notp:s from our loc in taris. 



the privacy 1 need for my little piipercliat witli 



you. 



tc 



Time is up, Auntie; you must have written 



liea])S ' ahout 



al ( V)l( 



I 



our more especial i oiony. am 
you will have none left I'or what vou used to 
call yours l)etbre we had our little African out- 
ing. Come to ( 'aiiada, 'tis just next door. The 
educational <lepartment nearly t^avt^ me a fit of 
the shivers, so hoi-ribly real and conqtlete is it 
in every i)articular, from the l)uildinL;' in wliich 
t\u) ' youn;^- idea ' is taught, and the hook he 
learns from, to tlie very bench u[)on which he 
sits, and the desk at which he writes. Uu'h ! . . 
There are the very jolliest ]thotographs of the 
snowshoe and golf clubs, of a carnival at the 
skating rink, a . . ." P^it of what more Cieoff 
saw, and of what I sliall see when 1 pay an 
hour or two's visit to Canada on Monday, as T 
hope to do, I must tell 3^ou another time, for, 
as he has reminded me, time is up ! . . . 



Monday, 9th September, 1«S78. — " Surely 
there ought not to be a single dunce 
in the wliole Dominion of Canada!" laughed 
Geoff, as — his pretended shudder over at their 
power to recall sundry scenes of school-boy 
life — he showed me the exhibits in the educa- 
tional division, where truly Canada need lower 
her colours to none. Perfect in every detail 
appears to be the scheme of education for all 
classes, nothing omitted or unnecessarily added 



80 



NOTES FROM OUR L0( ; IX PARJS. 



..^.f '' 



'■ y. 



I vl 

I 
I 



II 









ii 



to cumber or overweii^ht, notliincf overlooked 
wliieli can encoiiraf^e the timid and less ijifted, 
or incite to greater efforts those witli an ambi- 
tion to win linnours and a name iu any career 
thev mav choose for themselves. 

"All ^yovk and no play makes Jack a dull 
bo}^ ! " ^ ow, no Jack in Canada need be a dull 
boy, for tliere is ]io lack of amusement found 
for him there. Tliis throudit struck me as 1 
stood lookin-' admiringly at some excellent 
photographs of the members of the Snovv'-shoe 
and Golf Cln'os of the Dominion. In the fore- 
groLUid of the latter stood the well-known 
ti<^u:'es of Lord ^>,nd Ladv Duil'erin, \\'ho have 
found their way, l)oth of them, to the warm 
hearts of the peojde witli whom they nnist 
always be now identified. Lady Dulferin, muf- 
fled in the many folds of that specialtv of 
Canada, the cloud, looks every inch a Cana- 
dian, a comparison whicii I am sure she need 
not resent, for who lias net heard of the beauty 
and grace of our sisters over the water ? " Com- 
me elles sont belles ces Canadiennes I " I 
heard ungrudcingiy remarked by a little bright- 
eyed French woman beliind rae, who was peep- 
ing ov'^i my shoulder at the coloured 
photC'graph of the carnival at tiie skat- 
ing rink, and at one of two pictures 
of well - known beauties and people of 
mark. Her words recalled me from " long ago '* 
to a sense cf the present, reminding me that tini.e 



NOTES KPtOM Oril LOC IX PAhMS. 



81 



ooked 

it'ted, 

aiiibi- 

.'areer 

I dull 
a dull 
found 
as 1 
elleut 

'-sllOC3 

; fore- 
nowu 

have 
warm 

nmst 
, muf- 
Ity of 
Caua- 
i iKied 
)eauty 
Com- 



t >5 



U'iLillt- 

I peep- 
loured 
skat- 
ctures 
ile of 



1) 



'• ago 
it tiDi.e 



was too short for musing- and meniorios. As I 
turned fi-oni thost^ well-executed groups which 
livrf/' for nie, I ciiuld almost fancy that the 
sound of the sleigli -hells died away ujum my 
ear, and that 1 should have seen the Hakes of 
snow fall lightly presently could I have stayed 
to watch the L;rey cloud softlv " unfeather " 
itself to drive homewards l)y its gentle per- 
sistence the merry-makers from their ''Line 
upon the frozen river. 

Specinuuis of needlework, Szc, exhil>ited hy 
Canadian ladies, deserve mention. The Misses 
Stricklancl from Oshawa, contributed largely 
ex([uisite liuie-work, tatting, Szc. ; jMiss Far- 
rpdiarson, of Whithy, a ])ianoforte-cover (hdi- 
cately painted upon >vhite velvet, and Miss 
Belle liussell, of Ottawa, a pale blue satin ])an- 
ner-screen trimmed with lace of great breadth ; 
while Mrs. I^llen \'dliars, of Toronto, sends some 
painting* on china, executed with delicacy and 
much artistic taste. 

There is hardly an industry unrepresented 
in this department, showing how well on in the 
race is Canada, and each is e(iually good of its 
kind. Ceoft' was attracted by the nu:)dels of 
the canals, lock-Liates, and not a little bv the 
saddlery, the merits of which have been ac- 
knowledged by medids won at previous (exhibi- 
tions. 

Tbe stoves of the Dominion are excellent 
without exception, their makers being taught by 



m 



82 



NOTKS I'lloM on; LO(i IN I'AIIIS. 



W: 



i 



ml 



' i 



experience how to provide tlie largest amount 
of lieat witli tlie leant possible outlay. Onrgrates 
might well be improved after tlie (Janadian 
model, i. e., so arranged that half the warmth 
should not esca])e up the chinniey, and so 
shaped that what is called a " l)lower " should fit, 
when needed, to tlie l)ars to exclude the air 
until the dying lii'e has by means of the ga- 
thered draught burnt up ag^ain. Who does not 
know the discomfort of those shivering mo- 
ments of waiting while the maid wdth ]\aper 
and stick ti'ies to coax back into life the tlame 
'vhich seems alike deaf to viitorous efforts and 
to gentler measures ? 

Woollen and cotton stuff's, washing-boards 
and i)erand)ulators, oi'gans and refrigerators, 
sewing-mnchines and machines of all kinds, 
turnery, ro})e-making, boot-making and boat- 
making, stained glass and pottery, &c., &c.; 
specimens, aninud, vegetable and mineral, all 
are here, some almost in profusion. There are 
hats, too, of the IMontreal Felt Hat W^orks, 
marked at from four and a half dollars per 
dozen, and, if the glass does not deceive me, of 
exceptionally fine texture and good workman- 
ship. Self-iitting skates, and skates of many 
shapes and sizes shone like glass, and drew 
many observers. So much were the rocking- 
chairs fancied by first comers to the Exhibition, 
that they were all bought up within the first 
few days. An elegant set of drawing-room 



-h^^n^ 



not:.-'. KiiuM ouu i.oi; in i'Aias, 



83 



amount 
11 r grates 
-anadiau 
warm til 
aiul so 
lould lit, 
the air 
the ga- 
lues not 
ing mo- 
ll ])aper 
le tlanie 
oils and 

g-boards 
gevators, 
11 kinds, 
nd boat- 
&c., &c.; 
neral, all 
'here are 

"Works, 
lars per 
v^e me, of 
orkman- 
of many 
id drew 
rockino- 
hibition, 

the first 
ing-rooHi 



furniture was noticed by many, and the case of 
confections, with the pyramids of fancifully 
arranged " popped-corn," caught the admiring 
eves of others. 

Pictures ot th<3se triumi/us of enuiiieerinfj 
skill, tlie railway-bridges S])anning tlie vast 
rivers of Canada, could be overlooked by none ; 
and, to name lesser things with greater, neither 
could the pliotographs of the jialatial hotels of 
Canada, some of the manv whicli abound in 
its large cities, ready to entertain right royally 
any number of visitors who may be tempted 
across the Atlantic bv seeing here in l*aris 
specimens of the inhumeral>ie ohjects of in- 
terest the CVdony can sliow them. 

Mother Nature, too, has been bountiful in her 
gifts, therefore the Dominion has need to provide 
these great hosteiries to meet the ret[uirenieiits 
of the countless numbers who visit that huge 
half-continent, attracted, many of them, by the 
fame of its almost unrivalhMl natural beauties, 
those grand, broad, majestic rivers, witli their 
rapid currents, bearing ileet after fleet of rafts, 
manned by hardy lumberers, who liave robbed 
the noble forests of millions of century-old 
trees, yet leaving standiug others to supply the 
wants of generations yet to come. Has not 
Canada its Niagara, too ? its sea like lakes ? its 

liut 1 must " hark back," though 

sorely tempted to tell sometliiug al)out them ! 

The marbles, granites, ^sc, 1 observe, are 



I 

if-. 

Ill 



It' 



84 



NUTEb i'liUM UUU LOC; IN i'Allltt. 



nmcli noticed and ci'itically tapped and ex- 
amined by .several for whom they liave special 
interest ; but what pleased me best was a 
modest little Jar of ])rick clay i'rom Stony 
Mount, Manitoba. Now, in my very young 
days, when Manitoba v;as but a simple settle- 
ment w^itli scattered houses and few inhabitants, 
a brick had never been seen tliere, and when a 
lady, for whom J had, and ever shall have, a 
great esteem and regard, urged upon the people 
how easily they could make them with the 
wherewithal so ready to their hajids, they 
understood notliinij; of litr tuachino's, and were 
well enough satisfied with the solid logs, which 
certainly made them substantial an<l warm, if 
not very ornamental, houses. Now, bricks and 
bT-ick-makers flourisli, and streets and rows, 
s(piares and crescents, villas and lodges, take 
the place of Hallett's Point, S|)eiice's Creek, 
Logan's jVIill, and so forth. Clrowtli of every 
kind in Manitoba, but ''Stony Mount !'' "That's 
a bit of a ])uzzler, is it not, Auntie?" (pieried 
my almost ubiipiitous nephew, who had just 
returned to me again after what he called *' a 
meander." " I have heard you say that you 
could wear the soleless moccasin witliout in 
convenience, because there were no stones in 
old lied Uiver, and that there w^as no hill in or 
near the settlement. This ' mount ' nuist be 
an imi)orted Yankee notion, 1 opine." Along, 
gradual, and very gentle rise was the only 






II 



NOTES FROM OUll Wil LN TAKiS. 



85 



a 
a 



mount I could renieuiber, ami ])rol)ably from it 
was sent the clay exhibited. Tliat, with a few 
specimens of the i)otatoes and grain of the 
country — grain of great size and fulhiess, and 
winch grows with l>ut b'ttle elfort of culture 
there, com])rised, as far as I can see, the whole 
Manitoban contribution to tlie Kxhibition. 

Passing out from the Section under the sym- 
bolic emblems which crowned its entrance — 
wlieat-sheaves, grou])ed fruits, antlered heads, 
and smaller animals stulTed and naturally posed, 
&c. — Geoff piloted me to the great (Canadian 
trophy in the grand vestibule. There was([uite 
a crush of ])eople awaiting their turn for ad- 
mission, too manv at a time nctt bein<' allowed 
to mount the circuitous stairs from base to top. 
Upon every landing various specialities of the 
Dominion were placed, ar.d from the four sides 
of each gallery wv. could gaze upon the crowds 
below\ 

iManv articles shown here we had noted more 
in bulk in the section we had just quitted, but 
otliers we saw for the iirst time. The toboLjuin, 
or long flat sled, upon which Canadian children, 
and light-hearted grown-up folks too, on plea- 
sure bent, disport themselves, tlying down the 
frozen mountain sides with li^litning speed and 
merry recklessness ; the smaller wooden sled, 
on runners, the delight of every Canadian 
youngster's heart ; the snow-shoe, simple and 
ornamental ; the birch-rind canoe, the Indian 



si; 



.XOTKS I'lloM I Hi; LOG IN lAlJlS. 



li '< 



II ' 



U. 



saddle and bead-woi'ked saddle-clotli, sariiplcs 
of silk-work Ie,u'giii,^s, moccasins, all brought 
back in friendly i^uise scenes of "Auld lang 
syne." (leolT pointed out a i)lough, which to 
my unpractised eye seemed perfect of its kind, 
and I think I Vv'as not far wron<>\ for others 
looked approvingly at it likewise, whilst some 
also handled the backwoodsman's axes lying 
around it, as if they too deserved their meed 
of praise. If there are many trees left like the 
large exhibited specimen in the «4Tand vestibule, 
lal)elled, "Canada, Pacific" Coast — Douglas Fir, 
100 metres high — '>iji) years old, aged IcSo when 
Colundjus discovered America," and which, Hag 
and hatchet crowned, is the observed of all 
observers, the axes wouLl need to be of vast 
strenu'th, indeed, to fell them to the earth. 

The big trophy swiiycd ihiHiateningly as we, 
with others, reached its summit, but it is 
erected on too firm a l)asis to cause any fear of 
its safety. Cn following the stream of out- 
goers by its otlier outlet, we found that more re- 
mained to ])e inspecte.l. Two black or dark 
brown l)ears stood ns sentinels, upon one of 
whicli was the usual label, " I'riere de ne pas 
toucher." Alive, the recpiest would certainly 
have been reversed, but its glass eye, lixed 
amiably upon vacanc^y, gave Ih'uin an air of 
lunnble ap}»cal ([uite in keej^ing with its un- 
spokeji prayer. 1 could not help smiling as a 
tricksy young sprite <leliberately went up to 



NOTKS FllOM OUi; J-OC IN ]'AR[S. 



87 



the creature, first uiviiiu; it a IVieiidly "sliake- 
paw," and then, seeini;' tlie liack of the care- 
taker was safely turned uwav from her, a 
contemptuous little Hick upon tlie nose, as one 
who should say, " Wlio cares for your 

Close by their 1)earshi])s stood a massive coil 
of rope, and what I took to he lioht-house 
lamps and npplinnces ; to tlieir ritiht, in a well- 
arran,L;ed case,so]iie wonders from the. petroleum 
works of iVIessrs. Waterman — candles of various 
shapes, sizes and colours, with some curious and 
even beautiful designs in ])etroleum wax, such 
as a miniature colunni on base, and a cross 
with wreath, bunches of ilowers and monooTani 
— a kind of monumental design, fanciful and 
clever encuiih, but decidedlv odd. A third cabinet 
held plumbago, in tlie rough, as well as pre- 
pared as pencils, &c. A table of inlaid woods, 
with sam])le of window-frames, doors, &c., we 
found just outside, and they re])aid examina- 
tion, whilst we refreshed our inner man l)y 
a taste of the big cheese, wliich was handed 
in small slabs to any who cared to know 
what a good article of its kind Canadian 
farmers make. Geoff, partly for mischief, and 
partly because he thought '"tlie stuff not 
half bad " to eat \vith the remains of a broken 
biscuit in his pocket, walked round the trophy 
twice, so as to present iMuiself as a new comer 
and thus get a double ])ortion. The fourth 
glass case showed wools, wax, fruits, and so 



S8 



\OTMS FROM ni;\l l.od IN I'AKIS. 



,5 



forth ; and when 1 liavo named tlie large l>lo(d<: 
or cohunn oi' coal from the Atlantic coast, and 
the com[)aratively smidl ditto representinj^- the 
gold found in Caniida, 1 think 1 have only h^.ft 
myself space to sp^ak of the short visit we 
paid to Mr. Keeier's oihce, facing u])on the 
street of model houses, where more particular 
information about the Colony is readily and 
courteously ••iven when asked for. Here we 
met several Canadian friends, and at their re- 
commendation tasted not only some excellent 
light wine from tlie Isal)ella grape, a vintage 
from Kelly's Island, Lake Erie, l)ut some of 
that speciality of Canada, the maple sugar. 

" Some people in([uire if this is a model 
Canadian house — (it is that of an Old English, 
probably a Chester dwelling). We tell them 
' Xo,' l)ut tliat we could show them some quite 
as good, if not better, over the water, if they 
would like to come and see tlieni," said young 
Mr. Keefer, with a merry twinkle of his eye. 
I think I cannot better wind up my little 
account of my visit to "Canada," as it is in l*aris, 
than by recommending those who would like to 
make a better acquaintance with that grand old 
Colony itself to ibllow Mr. Keefer's advice ! . . 

Australia does not neglect 

her educational department any more than do 
her sisters. Eorei<^ners cannot fail to be struck 
with this as they wander through the English 



NOTKS FROM oUli L0(} IN TAKIS, 



8y 



Colonies on foot in l*iiris. Nor Ciiu they fail 
to be impressed with the mighty power Enuland 
has in these children of hers in other hinds, 
and the power which they also have whilst lov- 
ingly liidv'ed to such a mother. May the dear 
bonds never be l)roken ! Does not the ])arent 
trunk suffer when the branches are rudely lo])ped 
away ? Is there not pain at heart whoAi the 
blood Hows from a severed artery / Hoes not 
the mother shed tears of .sympathy when her 
child weeps from pain or sorrow ? and does not 
the child gain strength and courage fr-om the 
knowledge c^f how ilear it is to that loving 
heart ? 

" Hetty," said Jack, my brother, who had 
Joined us in the Queensland Court, " 1 cannot 
help thinking what a great pity it would be for 
this to be the end of it, that aU these collected 
wonders of nature and art should, when this 
big world's fair comes to a close, be dispersed — 
here a little, there a little. What a grand 
opportunity for continuing the combination — 
say in London— in the form of a Colonial 
Museum ! It would be such a linking together 
of interests — an added bond of brotherhood — 
an incitement to emulation to those of tlie 
family far away ; while the liome birds who 
have nev(;r left the nest would know more of 
the reidities of the lif(i led by the roving spirits 
of the brood .' Half the battle has been fought 
in gathering together hrc these testimonies tu 



I 

jl 

r 
I 



' 'HI 



\){) 



NUTKS KliOM OUK UK', iiN I'AltlS. 



i 



tlie wualtli 1111(1 power of Colonial KiiL;hiii(l. 
Suroly the other hall' would be worth the ti^ht 
to have and to hold them for ever, just where 
th(iir mission of usefulness eould Ijest he carried 
out in tlie dear old Moth(!r-country — the * at 
home ' of the hearts which love tlieir native land 
the more, rather than the less, that they have 
left her for awhile. I am Ijecoming almost 
poetical, which is not in my line, as you know ; 
but I am sure there is L>ood sound sense at the 
bottom, at all events, and I only wish some 
could be found in whose hands this «i;olden 
opportunity may be made tlie most of and 
turned to good account. The coming generation 
at home and abroad would have reason to thank 
them by and by, and I am not sure whether 
many now would not rejoice that the foundation 
stone should be laid and that the scheme (a bad 
name for it, by the by) — 'should take foi'iii and 
substance at once.' " 

" Well, Pater, your Museum need not languish 
for want of material, that is certain," remarked 
mv bov as we sauntered wearily homewards 
after our tiring, but intensely interesting ex- 
cursion '• On Foot through the Colonies in 
Paris." 



I